After 112 days of withholding sex from their partners, nearly 300 women in southwest Colombia officially ended their “crossed legs strike,” which was started in June to convince the local government to pave the only connecting road to their town.
Transportation Minister German Cardona admitted that the government’s promise to pave the road has been unfulfilled for nearly 20 years.
Cardona explained that the government will provide an initial $10.5 million for construction, with another $21 million scheduled to arrive by the end of the project.
The 35-mile unpaved stretch of highway has been a source of constant problems for the people of Barbacoas. Traveling to the nearest town can take up to 12 hours, which has resulted in many unnecessary deaths as residents try to reach the nearest hospital.
Barbacoans have been lobbying for support for nearly two decades. Promise after promise to repair the roads and provide infrastructure to the town have been broken. The women of the town finally decided to take matters into their own hands and launched the sex strike in late June.
After some initial frustration, the men decided to facilitate the protest against the corrupt local government by staging their own hunger strike.
Authorities finally caved into the demands of the protesting women and approved the construction of the road in late July. The women, having been let down before, promised to continue the strike until construction actually began.
“It is difficult to endure the protest from our women, but we have thought it is more difficult to bring children into the world… so that they live in inequality like we are living in currently, without transportation, without food,” said one Barbacoan man directly affected by the sex strike.
Although the men of Barbacoas are pleased that the strike ended, many other Colombian men fear that the success of the sex strike could encourage their partners to withhold sex for public works projects.
One can only hope that the construction of the road will finished by July 2012, when a consequential baby boom may increase the need for an accessible hospital.