100 Women 2016: Mexico festival draws thousands

100 Women 2016: Mexico festival draws thousands

Thousands of people have attended the BBC 100 Women season's first ever festival. The event in Mexico City showcased local dance, debate, music, comedy and art, BBC says.

 

One of the most unforgettable experiences was a virtual reality story allowing those who put on the VR headset to vividly imagine the world of a young woman called Maria who is trafficked into slavery.

 

The character has been forced into prostitution, and her story is based on true events.

 

Tears were shed by men and women of all ages as they sat on Maria's replica bed. This young woman never sees a single peso she makes for the men who stole her passport, freedom and, ultimately, her dignity.

 

Around the corner, rolling her wall of sticky notes across the streets of Mexico City, was Monica Mayor. She is one of Mexico's most prominent feminists and her message to young women is simple: 'It's OK to talk about your experiences of sexual abuse.'

 

The questions on Monica's pink wall asked probing questions, ranging from "What was your first experience of sexual harassment?'" to "When were you last abused?" which she joked darkly was probably 10 minutes ago.

 

This mobile exhibition aims to encourage a serious conversation, though. Sexual harassment is an every day experience for many Latin American women.

 

The range of answers was striking: One woman wrote that she was first abused by her cousin aged just five. The abuse lasted for two years. Many recounted stories of being followed and accosted on public transport. Other tales were even more harrowing.