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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 12:54 GMT
Sex dolls fight Mexican machismo
Mexican campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace
"Sexual harassment is a crime," reads the printed ad
Mexico's government is using blow-up sex dolls in a new TV campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace.

The ads feature dolls, dressed as secretaries and maids, who have to put up with leering and groping from male colleagues.

Officials say the aim of the campaign is to make clear that women are not sexual objects.

President Vicente Fox acknowledged on Wednesday that Mexico has to do more to overcome widespread machismo.

"Our society still has a long way to go in overcoming hangovers from the past, eradicating prejudice and changing habits," he said.

However, Mr Fox has himself caused offence recently by joking that women were just "washing machines with two legs".


The launch of the campaign, which also includes billboards and radio ads, coincided with International Women's Day on Wednesday. It is scheduled to run until mid-April.

"No woman should be treated like an object. Sexual harassment is degrading and it's a crime," says a voice-over at the end of the TV ad.

Correspondents say machismo runs deep in Mexico, where it is common for men to have mistresses, and in some cases, set them up in a second home.

Women generally earn less than male colleagues and have fewer opportunities for promotion - inappropriate behaviour toward them is said to be relatively frequent.

Mexican officials have also acknowledged that the country still has a problem with domestic violence against women.

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