Men sometimes kill women because they are women. Sometimes, as is likely the case with the horrific killings in Atlanta, men kill women because they are women and because of other aspects of their identity—race, sexual orientation, disabilities. But still, because they’re women. This gendered killing of women has a name: femicide, coined by Diana Russell almost 30 years ago.
While U.S. feminists were focused on breaking the 25 percent barrier for women in the House of Representatives, Mexico became the world’s leader on gender parity.
Mexico is the first country in the world to implement gender parity so thoroughly and effectively. The journey has not been easy.
Nearly 2,000 women were murdered by men in 2018 and the most common weapon used was a gun. And as in years past, Black women are more likely to experience lethal domestic violence than white women.
Black women are being murdered, violated and maimed. It’s hidden in plain sight, even as they are leading our current-day social movements with fierce intention.
Sister, they are killing us.
As Latin America battles both the virus and domestic abuse, women’s advocates see a glimmer of hope in innovative protective measures set up by governments and women’s groups that could endure well into the future.
“These movements are very smart and dedicated. They know the solutions they need; now it’s up to the governments to start listening.”
At this time, it’s important for governments to recognize the unique impacts that the virus has on girls and women—including gender-based violence—and take action to ensure their safety and well-being during lockdown.
This year, there has been an average of ten women killed every day in Mexico. Femicides have increased 137 percent in the last five years, and 93 percent of these crimes against women were not reported or investigated.
Isabel Cabanillas de la Torre and Ingrid Escamilla were murdered in Ciudad Juarez and Mexico City within two weeks—sparking outrage across the nation and on social media.
Social class and education could not save her. My colleague and friend, despite all her vigilance, earned el derecho de descansar in her death by feminicidio. She fought for her life and lost.
In the wake of a brutal femicide, Peru’s president declared that “sometimes, that’s how life is, and we have to accept it.” Feminists in the region disagree.