Protests in South America Highlight a Femicide and Gender-Based Violence Crisis
Should the U.S. be doing more to help fight against gender-based violence?
- Protests against femicide, oppression, restrictive abortion rights, pay disparities, and gender-based violence erupted across Latin America and the Caribbean on March 8, International Women's Day.
- Protests were held throughout the region — from Montevideo, Santiago, Rio de Janeiro, Quito, Bogota, Mexico City, Quito, San Salvador, and Buenos Aires — representing a wide demographic of women, from students to indigenous leaders to workers.
- Protestors clashed with police in Monterrey, Mexico, and set a government palace gate on fire.
- On March 9, women in Mexico abstained from both work and unpaid labor. The tradition, which began in 2020, was dubbed "Un día sin nosotras" (a day without us) and is an act of solidarity with victims of violence and a demonstration of female contributions to society.
What's the picture of gender-based violence?
- Last year, 4,473 women in Latin America were killed because of their gender, which amounts to 12 murders per day. These numbers only reflect reported crimes.
- Latin America and the Caribbean have some of the worst rates of femicide and gender-based violence in the world. In 2020, a woman was killed every 30 hours in Argentina, while in 2019 alone, nearly 4,000 Mexican women were killed.
- A 2014 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that one in three women in the region was subjected to violence, and between 17% and 53% reported experiencing domestic abuse.
- Honduras has the highest rate of femicides in the region, with 4.7 femicides per 100,000 women, followed by the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Bolivia, and Brazil.
- Jose Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, who works with the U.N's regional office, said:
"[O]ur obligation is to redouble efforts so that the women and girls of our region can truly exercise their right to live a life free of violence and discrimination."
Ni Una Menos
- You might recognize the Argentinian-founded women's rights movement Ni Una Menos from our site banner, but perhaps not realize their profound impact on the conversation about women's rights and gender-based violence.
- Founded after the murder and rape of Lucia Perez, it means "not one woman less." It inspired mass demonstrations and the birth of women's rights collectives in Chile before spreading to the entire region.
- #NiUnaMenos has promoted treating femicide as a violation of human rights and creating an official registry of femicide cases.
- Argentina’s president Alberto Fernández praised Ni Una Menos during his inaugural speech and established a new Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity.
Should the U.S. be doing more in the fight against femicide?
(Photo Credit: Code Pink)