The outrage at the wave of feminicides in Latin America, where it is estimated that more than 3,800 women are murdered every year for gender reasons, took this Sunday again to the streets to a strengthened feminist movement that has reached, as never before, set the agenda Political and social region.
Although the historical claims for equity, legalization of abortion and greater political representation are maintained, as well as against harassment, stupor for femicide has been the predominant theme on this International Women’s Day and is expected to be in other mobilizations planned since Monday in the region, such as tomorrow’s strike under the slogan “A day without women.”
NO MORE KILLERS
Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans marched this Sunday to protest against sexist violence and, in the case of Chile, Brazil, El Salvador and Ecuador, the demonstrations included the well-known performance “A rapist in your path”.
This was the opportunity to show the strength of feminist groups in the continent, which have gained momentum with movements such as “Me Too”, against harassment and sexual abuse; the “green tide”, in favor of abortion, and the “Not one less”.
This year’s mobilizations, however, focused on the rejection of murders such as those of the Mexican girl Fatima and the small Argentine Guadalupe, of two university students in Colombia or the media revictimization in Mexico of Ingrid Escamilla, cases that have shocked to the continent due to the lack of guarantees of the fundamental right to life for women.
“Gender violence is a fundamental problem on the continent, which affects one in every 3 women of all socioeconomic levels, and the consequences are wide and devastating,” the head of the Gender and Diversity Division of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), María Caridad Araujo.
Data from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) indicate that the number of women killed by gender-based violence exceeds 3,800 a year in the region.
And although for 2018 the highest rates of femicide were recorded in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic, in other nations, such as Mexico and Argentina, the phenomenon is on the rise.
In Mexico, which registered 1,010 femicides in 2019, “girls and adolescents are at risk only because they are women and are more vulnerable to living aggressions that affect them forever or end their lives,” says the Save the Children organization.
While in Argentina, five femicides were reported in just three days in March, which add up to January 63 and February.
“We are worried about the data of the last days, now we have more femicides than days of the month. Basically the registration in Argentina is one femicide every 12 hours, which represents an alert to the entire society,” Silvia Ferreyra told Efe , coordinator of the Women’s Movement of the Latin American Matria (Mumalá).
After the deaths of March, which include that of a woman suffocated by her boyfriend and that of a 10-year-old girl who was beaten and burned alive, Ferreyra insists that “the national emergency for gender violence be declared”, in order to increase the budget for equality policies.
“Unfortunately, we still don’t have public policies that guarantee the non-repetition of sexual and gender-based violence,” said Keyla Cáceres, a member of the National Network of Young Feminists of El Salvador, one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women. women.
Something similar occurs in Honduras, where 390 women were killed in 2019, as activist Ana Cruz denounces that there is a “very difficult situation” due to the “lack of response” of the State.
The IDB expert agrees on the need for equality and rights protection policies by insisting that the “costs of violence against women are enormous because it prevents the development of their potential and their ability to empower themselves and contribute to the development of their communities , which directly impacts the GDP of countries. “
2020, THE YEAR OF WOMEN
Lucía Scuro, expert of the Division of Gender Affairs of ECLAC, stresses that not everything is negative and, in fact, there is significant progress in terms of gender and equality policies in the region.
“There is a great effort regarding institutionality, with the creation of Women’s Ministries or specific state agencies for these issues; in regulations (at least 13 countries have typified feminicide); and in the production of information to make work visible unpaid women, “he tells Efe.
The UN and numerous activists believe that this 2020 will be a decisive year for the promotion of gender equality, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Declaration and Platform for Action of Beijing, the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls worldwide.
In those 25 years, for example, the process of incorporating women into politics has spread on the planet under the leadership of America.
In fact, of the only three countries in the world where women have a greater share than men in national parliaments, two are Latin American: Cuba (53.2%) and Bolivia (53.1%), although the world leader is Rwanda (61.3%).
ECONOMIC AUTONOMY, THE GREAT CHALLENGE
Despite the progress, both the IDB and ECLAC still see broad challenges in terms of economic opportunities for women, and in access to services such as health and education.
Scuro especially warns of a “stalemate” in women’s economic autonomy in Latin America, where one in two women has no income of their own or earns less than a minimum wage.
“Although in the last half century progress has been made in the economic insertion of women, there is a stagnation in the last 10 years of the labor participation rate around 50%,” he warns.
In the Dominican Republic, several organizations took advantage of this day to denounce the poverty that affects women, especially in the rural environment.
Diana Marcela Tinjaca