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Meet Craftistas! / Femicide in Latin America

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Meet Craftistas!

Karin Gruber is a social worker, feminist and energy counseling living in Vienna, she is one of the founders of Craftistas, they are a group of feminist women supporting each other and helping other women who may need help, they make trainings and work shops for the women and girls mostly handwork staff.

Femicide in Latin America

The concept of femicide it is understood as the murder of women or girls because they are females. Femicide is the consequence of a system of violence against women and it is a global problem, present in all cultures. In Latin America the characteristic of violence against women is impunity. Marcela Lgarde took the concept of femicide in the 90ties and translated it into “feminicidio” in Spanish in order to combat impunity and femicide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Produced by Hamdi Abdullahi and Alessandra Romanelli

More information on femicides:
The concept of femicide was born in the feminist context and then further developed. The word was coined by Diana Russell during the first International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women, in Brussels, in 1976.
Femicide is anyhow only the top of the iceberg with reference to violence against women. The battle against femicide is not only a demand but also a strategy in order to sue the patriarchal violence. A dead woman is a dead woman, this is clear in all judicial systems. Nevertheless other forms of violence against women are persecuted in different ways in different countries, or in some countries are not persecuted at all. For example what consitutes sexual violence in one country is not defined as such according to a different legal system. The category of femicide helps disallowing certain concepts such as femicide as a crime of passion or the pathologization of violence against women. It has also supported women in identifying gender-based violence and public authorities in developing specific provisions to fight against it.

Since 2001 EFLAC, the Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Gathering, has started in the framework of the campaign “ni una mujer menos” (no one woman less) carrying out researches about femicide and date related to it. The slogan “ni una menos” was started by Mexican poet, journalist, activist and victim of femicide Susana Chávez.
Even though femicide constitutes a crime in 16 countries in Latin America, it is often not persecuted and the offenders remain in many cases unpunished. Latin America and the Caribbean have 14 of the 25 countries with the highest rates of femicide in the world combined with the highest rates of impunity.
Anyhow femicide is a global problem. From 2007 to 2012 60.000 women were killed every year which represents 16% of all intentional homicide worldwide.
Researches on femicide in Peru were started by feminist groups and treated as a human rights issue. The results of these researches were presented to the public authorities.

Since 2009 there are official data and statistics on femicide and violence against women in Peru. According to these date from January 2009 to July 2016 in average every month 10 women were killed; 89 % of them were murdered in the context of a domestic or intimate partner relationship. About 60 % of these women were killed in their own houses. When are they killed? Manly in the evening, in the night or during the weekend, when men are at home. The age of the victims were in 55 % of the cases between 16 and 35 years old.
Since 2009 femicide is identified and punished as a crime in Peru. The introduction of this crime has allowed to recognise women as legal subjects and to ask authorities to intervene and enforce the law.

There are anyhow still demands in Peru: a better functioning of the judicial system, as patriarchy is a cultural and social, gender problem present as well at the level of the administration of justice. Moreover, conservative groups, such as the church, are represented in Parliament and are in many cases against women´s rights. Therefore there is the need of a secular state.

Prevention of violence against women should be enhanced: education and clear denial of impunity are needed. All involved officeholders should attend trainings on gender and human rights. Finally sufficient financial means for the victims should be available and a coordinated approach among the persons involved in the support of the victims should take place.