March 7, 2021

The machista homicides, the main danger for women

Killing is a matter of men, for both parties: the criminal and the victim. Women have a much lower risk of being killed but, of course, when someone kills them, it is usually because they are women.

This is reported by the World Study on Homicide of 2019 published on Monday by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), based in Vienna.

The figures are clear: 80% of the victims of intentional homicides are men, but between half and two thirds of murdered women die at the hands of their partner, ex-partner or a close relative.

The UNODC report confirms that the greatest danger for a woman is not to walk alone at night in a strange neighborhood: statistically speaking, the risk skyrockets the moment she returns home.

And while in crime "between men" it is easy to identify the factors that increase the frequency of homicides – poverty, unemployment, low educational level … – these social differences are hardly present in the case of the murders of women: the aggressors they occur at all economic and social levels.

On the contrary, in 82% of the cases of murders in a couple, they were the victims.

There are few studies on homosexual couples; those that exist indicate that cases of homicide in a relationship between men far exceed those between women.

In total, some 87,000 women were murdered in 2017 around the world; of them, some 50,000 died at the hands of a relative and in 30,000 cases, that person was their partner or ex-partner.

The most dangerous continent to be a woman is Africa: the prevalence of murder at the hands of relatives or (ex) partners is 3.1 for every 100,000 women. America, with a rate of 1.6 and Oceania (1.3) are somewhat safer, followed by Asia (0.9) and Europe (0.7 deaths per 100,000 women).

Asia and Europe exchange their place if only the murders committed by couples or ex-partners are considered: in Europe, the violence exerted by other relatives is relatively low, of 9%, while globally it is 20% of the total and in Africa even reaches 30%

The UNODC uses with caution the term "femicide" (or feminicide) for murders in which the motive is related to sexist violence, because this concept is defined quite differently in the 18 Latin American countries that include it in their legislation, and therefore does not allow comparisons to be made.

Although the most common aggressor is the couple or ex-partner, there are specific regional forms: thus, in "Western Asia," honor killings "are frequent, in which the family itself decides to kill a woman whose attitude is considered too liberal in the face of sexual taboos.

The murderer can be the father, a brother, an uncle, but also the mother.

And in India there is a fight against "dowry murders", in which the husband's family inflicts violence on a married woman to force her family to pay the sum promised when the wedding is arranged.

The UN explains that the prevention of sexist killings demands political strategies for long-term education and a change of mentality regarding sexual roles and the role of women in society.

(tagsToTranslate) homicides (t) sexist (t) main (t) danger (t) women

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