MEXICO CITY (AP) — They’ve long been an unmissable part of public events in Mexico, from soccer matches to trade fairs: attractive women hired to be greeters or simply as eye candy, sometimes scantily clad in short skirts and high heels or crop-tops and hot pants emblazoned with corporate logos.
Now Mexico City has prohibited the use of models known in local parlance as “edecanes” at events sponsored by the local government, breaking new ground for a country where deeply entrenched gender stereotypes often continue to relegate women to supporting roles in the workforce.
Indra Rubio, who coordinates the gender justice program for Oxfam in Mexico, called the capital’s model ban a “small but very important step” for a country that’s “still macho.”
“We need to question as a society: Why is a woman’s body seen as an object?” Rubio said. “This places the woman always at a disadvantage, if her participation in the workforce is subject to her physical appearance.”
[A]s recently as last week, the Mexican Health Ministry organized a discussion on breastfeeding that was widely mocked for its all-male panel. And an initiative called “Not Without Women Mx” that urges men to boycott forums that omit female experts from panels was launched without a single woman sitting at the lead table.