America calls for an end to violence against women

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América Newsroom, Nov. 25 (EFE).- Marches, rallies, statements by authorities and the dissemination of studies served as a framework to demand with one voice the elimination of gender-based violence in America, including the international day for its eradication took place this Friday in a continent where the number of feminicides and abuse does not stop.

During the day, a report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal) was published, according to which last year at least 4,473 femicides were recorded in 29 countries of the region.

The highest rates of femicides per 100,000 women were recorded in Honduras, with 4.6 cases; Dominican Republic (2.7 cases), El Salvador (2.4 cases), Bolivia (1.8 cases) and Brazil (1.7 cases).

Belize and Guyana had the highest femicide rates in the Caribbean (3.5 and 2.0 per 100,000 women, respectively).

America raise your voice

During the day, the United States government said gender-based violence is a violation of human rights and that despite “great steps” taken to prevent it around the world, it continues to be “deeply rooted” in social norms.

In this sense, the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, declared that “one in three women and girls will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime, and 70% will experience gender-based violence in humanitarian contexts”, while one in five girls is married before the age of 18.

Likewise, women’s groups have organized marches in Argentina to call for an end to gender-based violence, including the group “Ni Una menos”, which called for demonstrations in Buenos Aires in front of the Supreme Court with the slogan “against the violence, feminist force”.

Women, with wings and paintings of butterflies alluding to freedom, take part in a march to raise their voices against violence against women as part of the celebration of “25N”, the International Day for the elimination of violence against women. Women, today in Caracas (Venezuela). EFE/Miguel Gutierrez

According to a report published by the civil association La Casa del Encuentro, Argentina has registered, since November 25 of last year and the 23 of this month, 300 femicides and related deaths of women and girls, and seven trans and transvesticides, while the National Observatory MuMaLá (Women of the Latin American Homeland), reported that between January 1 and November 19, 2022, a femicide occurred every 37 hours.

In Brazil, considered one of the most dangerous countries for women, statistics have registered gradual improvements year on year, although according to data from the Brazilian Public Security Forum, in 2021 there were 1,319 femicides in the country, which means the killing of a woman every seven hours.

“No more violence against peasant women. We demand our right to land and resources” and “The century of women is here and now,” read the t-shirts of some of the hundreds of women who came to protest in Tegucigalpa after learning the numbers that place Honduras as the country most affected by feminicides.

A well-known study in Venezuela also concluded that murders of women top the violence statistics in that country, where every 37 hours someone dies violently.

During the first nine months of the year, 175 women died at the hands of their husbands, boyfriends or ex-partners, according to the NGO Utopix. It is a wave confirmed by the prosecution, whose records show a thousand feminicides over the past five years.

A group of women demonstrate today in Ciudad Juárez, State of Chihuahua (Mexico).  Dozens of people demonstrated in the border town of Ciudad Juárez in northern Mexico to demand justice for cases of violence against women.  EFE/Luis Torres
A group of women demonstrate today in Ciudad Juárez, State of Chihuahua (Mexico). Dozens of people demonstrated in the border town of Ciudad Juárez in northern Mexico to demand justice for cases of violence against women. EFE/Luis Torres

But Venezuelan women face risks not only in their country but also in the places where they have gone to live in the context of the mass migration of recent years.

According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), gender-based violence represents a high underlying risk for women affected by the Venezuelan crisis living inside and outside their country, after analyzing data collected between 2020 and 2022 in Venezuela, Colombia and Peru.

For her part, the women’s coordinator revealed that sexual violence has increased by 51% in Bolivia in the last 5 years, a phenomenon that she classified as “another pandemic” that particularly affects girls and adolescents.

In Nicaragua, it has been reported that at least 57 women have died inside and outside the country so far this year due to gender-based violence, according to the Catholic Organization for the Right to Decide.

The Nunca Más Nicaragua Human Rights Collective and the NGO Raza e Igualdad have reported from Costa Rica that violence against women in Nicaragua is likely to increase.

The two organizations pointed out that in the past 12 years there have been at least 846 femicides in the country, despite the introduction of life imprisonment.

In Puerto Rico, Governor Pedro Pierluisi has decreed the extension until June 30, 2023 of the state of emergency, declared for the first time in January 2021, and the maintenance of the Prevention Committee with the aim of combating violence made to women.

Pierluisi has decided on 70 feminicides this year against 53 for the whole of 2021, figures considered alarming on an island of just over 3 million inhabitants.

Meanwhile, official bodies and independent activists in Cuba have recalled the importance of the fight against gender-based violence, with the nuance that the latter have once again called for the “urgency” of a comprehensive law on the gender, which is not in the plans of the authorities (the new Penal Code does not criminalize femicide).

In fact, so far this year there have been 33 cases of femicide verified by activists from the YoSiTeCreo platform in Cuba and the Cuban feminist magazine Alas Tensas, with no official tally. Over the whole of 2021, they recorded 36 and, in 2020, 32.

Likewise, the Catholic Church in Panama said that “it is not enough” to raise our voices to defend women’s rights, but that it is “urgent” that all sectors work to guarantee their protection, while that around 500 Guatemalans marched through her country’s capital to demand that the government take action to stop femicide.

Gender inequality is of such magnitude in the region that, for example, the Chilean Minister for Women, Antonia Orellana, admitted this Friday to EFE that she was not “surprised” by the machismo she found in institutions and ensured she was “prepared” for attacks from the right.

In 2022, 45 femicides were perpetrated in Chile, according to the register of the Chilean Network against Violence against Women, 11 fewer than last year, but data from the investigative police reveal an increase in 29% this year of sexual offense complaints compared to 2020.

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