The employment of 'edecanes,' or hostesses, has angered feminists and sparked numerous debates about sexism and objectification of women
Scantily clad young female models in high heels and tight clothing have been serving as "hostesses" at government and corporate events all over Mexico for decades. Their primary function is to serve as eye candy, and they are at every event across Mexico.
But now authorities in the leftist bastion of Mexico City are taking action, reports Los Angeles Times.
Last week, Mexico City Mayor Jose Ramon Amieva officially banned the employment of models at government events.
According to Los Angeles Times, Amieva said that those women on the government payroll who had previously been asked to work as hostesses will be reassigned to other “more empowering” tasks. The hiring of freelance hostesses is banned and could result in fines, he said.
The new ban has been welcomed by feminist activists who say it is a small but significant step against Mexico’s culture of machismo. Some said they hoped the ban would be implemented by the federal government as well.
The feminists may approve, but the ban has been criticized by the hostessing industry itself. It is big business in Mexico, with an estimated 900,000 women working in the sector. Some hostesses have taken to social media to defend the dignity of the job, which, they have clarified, should not be misconstrued as prostitution.
Many women, including female politicians, have long grumbled about the ubiquitous presence of scantily clad models at official functions where everyone else is dressed in business attire. At corporate events or store openings, it is common for models to wear logos printed on their clothing or their bodies.