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2022, a Year of Struggles and Victories for Women and the Feminist Movement

In Latin America there are still many obstacles to achieving equality between men and women in different spheres and to eradicating violence against them. However, this year there were some advances in terms of rights sought by the feminist struggle around the world .

Woman during a feminist march

Photo: Karla Riveros

Paula Andrea Hernández

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Leer en español: El 2022, un año de luchas y victorias de las mujeres y la lucha feminista

Feminism, a movement promoted by women to achieve equality, had several struggles, achievements, and challenges during the year 2022. In February, the entire world turned its eyes to Colombia, where the Constitutional Court decriminalized abortion up to 24 weeks of gestation, a decision that had been delayed for months due to various obstacles.

In the coffee country, abortion was punishable by up to four and a half years in prison, although since 2006 it has been allowed for three reasons: rape, malformation of the fetus or health risk to the mother, without a time limit.

By November, the deputies approved the registration of abortion in the French Constitution, the first step in an initiative to shield this right demanded by the feminist struggle. With 337 votes in favor and 32 against, the National Assembly (lower house) approved including in the Magna Carta of 1958 that "the law guarantees the effectiveness and equal access to the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy."

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At the same time, the United States, one of the most powerful countries and considered a world power, overturned its own historic 1973 ruling known as Roe v. Wade, which was the legal precedent that guaranteed the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy at the federal level. Abortion is no longer a constitutional right in the US, so each state can decide whether to maintain the right to abortion or, on the contrary, outlaw this practice.

In Mexico, the Senate approved a sentence of up to 45 years in prison for those who sexually exploit their partner. It also established that imprisonment of up to 20 years will be given to those who force, induce and facilitate minors under 18 years of age, or people without the ability to understand the meaning, to perform sexual acts.

In the field of sports, in Argentina, 55% of women soccer players in the first division are professionals, but their salaries do not even reach 2% of what men earn. This situation is repeated in other countries such as Colombia, where this year there were no Women's League, despite the fact that women played important instances in international competitions.

Despite the advances in these feminist struggles, in Latin America violence against women continued, since in 2022 more than 4,000 cases of femicide were reported. According to a report recently published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal), in 2021 at least 4,473 women were victims of femicide in 29 Latin American countries. An increase of 9.36% compared to last year.

While in Latin America, with all the obstacles and problems that persist, the advances in the area of women's rights were celebrated, hundreds of girls in Afghanistan burst into tears after the Taliban prohibited them from going to university, without a doubt the worst blow hard of the year perhaps to the education and freedom of Afghan women.

The ban on higher education came less than three months after thousands of women sat for university entrance exams across the country. Still in Latin America and the world, there are many obstacles to achieve equality between men and women in different areas and to eradicate violence against them. The wage gap, the burden at home that falls mainly on women and girls, workplace violence, early marriage, violence, sexual harassment on the streets, laws, and practices that discriminate, continue to be the challenges for that the feminist struggle will face in the year 2023.