Three-hundred women in the town of Barbacoas near the Pacific coast have vowed to withold sex from their husbands until the connecting road into their village has been paved.
Dubbed the “strike of crossed legs,” the women are withholding sex from their husbands to persuade them to pressure local authorities to properly maintain the main road out of their village which stretches some 35 miles before reaching the nearest town.
The road has claimed the lives of more than a dozen medical patients who have died on the road before reaching medical care. It currently takes about 12 to 14 hours to reach the nearest hospital.
The women intend to expand their strike this Saturday with a protest aimed at recruiting more wives into their movement.
Colombia has a recent history of sex-strikes. In 1997, Colombia’s military chief Manuel Bonnet called for a sex-strike among the wives of paramilitaries, guerrillas, and druglords to promote peace. In 2006, wives and girlfriends of gang members in the town of Pereira in central Colombia purportedly withheld sex from gangsters who failed to turn in their arms after their city suffered a period of violence that left 480 people dead.
Sex-strikes have classical roots as well; a sex-strike famously was the subject of Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata,” a comedic tale of one woman’s quest to end the Peloponessian War by denying men sexual favors until the war is ended.
Many husbands of the women on strike said that they would prefer that their wives engage in a hunger strike instead.