Violence against women in Latin America: Feminicide

 CHICAS PODEROSAS and Connectas discuss the important issue of feminicide.

We have the opinion of Esperanza Franco and Víctor Tablas of UNDP, with Martín Rodríguez Pellecer de Nómada in Guatemala and with Mariana Santos, CEO of Chicas Poderosas, as moderator of the conversation. For one hour we shared and talked about violence against women in Latin America.

We share some lessons learned from the meeting:

The figure: 38% of feminicides are due to spousal violence. – UNDP.

The phrase: “We can not have sustainable human development if violence against women continues,” said UNDP’s Esperanza Franco.

The data: Comprehensive laws: They address violence in all areas and take into account different violence.

First generation laws: Addresses violence in the domestic sphere.

Question: In Colombia there is a common complaint about how justice processes are slow, the victim is asked to count innumerable times the same version and the process affects psychologically. How to facilitate the justice process for women and prevent them from feeling victimized?

Esperanza Franco

The issue of specialized justice is super important. The evidence in the region shows that when there is a regulation that endorses this issue, and a specialized institution that is dedicated to operationalize this law, we have improvements. Obviously, more complaints do not mean that there is more violence, but women have better access to justice. Specialized justice is a step forward that some countries in the region are taking.

Martín Rodríguez Pellecer

I would like to add that, as journalists, we can also give all the information tools to the community of readers so that they can demand, at the moment they are victims, all the elements not to be re-victimized. From the treatment with dignity, with efficiency, with all the psychological precautions and that this way they are much more empowered before the State and the officials.

Victor Tables

I also think it is important to have unique case identification numbers, as the justice system is intertwined. A case can be reached through the police or Attorney General’s Office and by having unique numbers you can identify the process that the victim has been following. This way you can have a better care protocol.

Mariana Santos

Often part by the information of the population. From being a tradition and culture that is macho and people do not know that they can not hit a woman. For example, I was working recently in Brazil where men told me, but why can not I hit a woman. Lack of access information, sometimes. How can we change this from the root?

Martín Rodríguez Pellecer

I believe that we must permanently report on inequality. Patriarchy is so hegemonic and daily that it invisibilizes these relations of power. It seems to me that the journalists what we have to do is try to evidence in every possible way, with a lot of creativity and combining all the elements that we have within our reach. In Nomad one of the things we do is to combine a gender approach in all The coverages and try to balance the amount of women in the writing. But also, for example, we speak of sovereignty over pleasure, where they only write women as subjects and not as objects. We try to make this transit where women are not only considered as objects of pleasure but subjects of full rights.
Some lessons and recommendations:

Victor Tables

Taking as an example the case of the Savior, here is evidence that the typification of the crimes has given enough force to the complaint. And also to the formulation of public policies, based on evidence. It is quite interesting all the momentum that has taken in the approval of these laws.

Martín Rodríguez Pellecer

It seems to me that the role we have as journalists to prevent crime is fundamental, changing that chip. Secondly, we must avoid impunity and demand from the authorities’ control that the crimes do not go unpunished.

Esperanza Franco

How to make national law operative for all levels? It is a challenge, but countries are going there, little by little. The biggest challenge is the lack of economic resources for these policies.

The media, the way the news is given is very important. There are many manuals and tools for journalists to train. I invite you to visit, there is a gender manual for journalists and there is a section on how to treat news of violence against women.

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