Violence against women in Latin America

2 out of 5 feminicides are committed within a context of domestic violence, according to UN WOMEN and PNUD

Violence against women in Latin America 

According to Richard Barathe, director of the “Centro Regional para América Latina y el Caribe del PNUD” United Nations Development Program, Latin America and the Caribbean are the most dangerous regions for women. This affirmation was made during a summit in which gender violence against women was discussed.

Despite this, the UN acknowledges that the region has shown improvement, in particular in the institutional and legal framework that recognizes the violence against women as a social issue which deeply affects Human Rights. The paradox is that, although the countries with legal protection for women has increased from 24 in 2013 to 31 in 2016, homicides against women have been increasing.

In this regard, it is worth to mention that 2 out of 5 feminicides are committed within a context of domestic violence, according to UN WOMEN and PNUD.

The country that ranks first place on the list of homicides against women is Honduras with a shameful rate of 10 homicides per every 100.000 inhabitants, according to Lara Blanco regional director of UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean.  Nevertheless, the available data in some countries such as Mexico and Brazil, may not be accurate; feminicides in such countries may be underestimated.

The UN and PNUD mention the unreliable statistics as an important problem to overcome in order to make adequate diagnosis of the issue. Other problems that are being faced are the unavailability of public funds to implement the suitable public policies and the fact that the patriarchy that sees violence against women as normal is also present within institutions.

It is worth mentioning that the patriarchy that has become hegemonic in the modern world derives itself from the European standards common to when colonization was the empires’ mean of expansion.  But it has also evolved, mixing itself with local forms of suppression, which, according to analysts like Sirin Adlbi, have produced even worse scenario for women.

Rita Segato, a well-known academic, also explains that because the patriarchy imposes certain masculinity model in which economic, sexual, and social power are the desired attributes of men, and since in Latin-America, economic and social precarity are the norm, males resort to violence against women to restore their masculinity.

Given this problematic situation, the UN, according to the media outlet El Tiempo, has suggested that enough funding should be assigned to implement the adequate public policies, repair the victims, and to work with men to transform violent masculinities.


Latin American Post | Juan Cabrera

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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