The Silenced Femicide of South America
Two hundred thirty-five women were killed in Argentina. Why? Simply because of their gender.
You may have heard of the term ‘Femicide’ – a word coined for the vast killings of women. It is essentially a hate crime for being a woman. The numbers are likely to be much larger; however, due to many authorities disregarding these murders as a crime, statistics are hard to come by.
Tension bubbled over in Argentina, where the brutal murder of Lucia Perez, a 16-year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her, ignited a roaring fire within the community of Argentina and Latin America. It disgusts me that despite this, the government do nothing to prevent these crimes from reoccurring.
Rather, I shouldn’t be surprised. As far as I am concerned, more research needs to be done into who is really pulling the strings and ACTION needs to be taken. Why are the police so negligent in protecting mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters?
El Salvador has the highest murder rate of women in the world. This country is also ridden with crime, gangs and violence. These factors all play a role into the reasons why women are killed in Latin America.
The western world prides itself on being liberal, free, and equal this isn’t what equality looks like.
Are you as angry as I am? Has this atrocious act of femicide has created discomfort, anger and despair within you? Here’s what you can do make a change:
- Sign an online petition demanding justice for those cruelly taken from this world, in an act of extreme violence. Websites such as Change.org and Avaaz exist for these matters!
- Speak to your peers, in the office, your uni/college mates and family. Spread the word and raise awareness about femicides.
- Educate yourself on the topic. Read documents and reports and have the knowledge to educate others on this matter.
- Keep fighting for justice and equality in solidarity with all women.
On the other hand, action is being taken by many. Vanda Pignato, former first lady of El Salvador, has founded safe areas for women to escape the evil they experience. They are known as Ciudad Mujer (Women’s city). There are 6 placed around the country, acting as an safe haven for those who need it – which is many, with up to 240 women visiting every day! The facilities are full of knowledge and support to help these women recover from the tragedies they have endured and answer any questions they may have.
Actions like this are on a larger scale but everyone is capable of making a difference. It can be a small or big difference, but signing petitions, protesting and education is key to bringing justice to the women killed, the daughters brutally raped and mutilated and the families left torn by corruption and cold murder.
I will never stop speaking out about the atrocity that is femicide. When someone is oppressed, they need help. The women who are being targeted in Latin America need us. Let me ask you, if it was your mother, sister or wife that was being raped, tortured, drugged and then killed, would you stay silent?
As Audre Lorde once said, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”
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