The violet tide: Mexico’s new feminist wave

From the rooftop of an office block in Mexico City, Sonia Barroeta tells of a lifetime of small abuses. If she wears a skirt, men “won’t leave me in peace”, she says. She has been wearing black trousers for 30 years.

She counts six occasions on which she used pepper spray on aggressive men. Now nearing 60, she plans to take part in a demonstration for the first time, a protest to be held on March 8th, International Women’s Day.

On the next day she will join a “national women’s strike”. In her case that will mean staying home from work, along with the other 40 female staff and students of the Asteca Aviation School, which trains (mostly male) pilots and (mainly female) flight attendants.

Women suffer not just on the street, but also the office, the home and everywhere in between, says Ms Barroeta. “As a woman, you are worth less from the day you are born.”

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