Colombian Women End 'Crossed Legs' Protest
The women of Barbacoas, Colombia have ended a three-month, 19-day "crossed legs" strike of sexual abstinence aimed at getting a road to their isolated town paved, after officials pledged to invest in the project.
"That night we devoted to our husbands. The desire was great and we took advantage of it," Luz Marina Castillo, the leader of the protest, told Bogota newspaper El Tiempo in comments published Sunday after the strike was lifted.
Transport Minister German Cardona has pledged to invest an estimated $21 million to pave the first 27 kilometers (17 miles) of the 57-kilometer road, adding that studies were underway on the cost and design of the second half of the route.
At least 300 women began the strike June 22, refusing to have sex with their partners until the government agreed to pave the first half of a 163-year-old horse trail to the town in the southern department of Narino.
The women were encouraged to go on strike by two Narino judges, Maribel Silva and Diego Enriquez, after they complained about the men's passivity in the face of the problem.
"The men's first reaction was laughter, because they found the way we were protesting very curious," Silva said.
Then reality set in, and work on the road finally began last week as the government had promised.
"The day we saw the machinery arrive, we couldn't believe it," said Castillo. "It was very special, not just for the movement, but for all Barbacoans. Imagine, it was decades of oblivion."