Dozens of women took to the streets of Mexico City over the weekend for the "March of the Whores," a campaign that started in Canada to demand respect for women's rights and an end to gender-based violence and sexual harassment.

Students, housewives, girls and transvestites participated in the protest on Sunday, wearing short skirts and temporary tattoos that read "NO means NO."

The protesters walked more than five kilometers (3.1 miles) down the capital's Paseo de la Reforma.

"We are not going to allow ourselves to be abused, especially that they denigrate us for simply dressing in a way that pleases us ... it's a mode of expression and no institution or government can prohibit it," Proyecto 21 rights group member Edith Estrada told Efe.

"Sexual abuse and unequal power relations have destroyed the social fabric," activist Fernando Chavez said in a statement read at the end of the march.

The March of the Whores is part of the SlutWalk protest movement, which started in Toronto when a police officer told women to "avoid dresing like sluts" so they would not become victims of violence.

Violence against women has increased 30 percent in Mexico in recent years, with an average of about 1,200 women being treated annually for violent attacks at home or work, women's rights groups said.

"Let's say 'enough' in solidarity with women," activist Icec Vega said.

More than 6,000 girls and women died in gender-based violence in Mexico in 1999-2005, official figures show.