Mass Protests Call Out Argentina’s Femicide Problem
Hundred of thousands took to the streets across Argentina on Wednesday, June 3, to condemn violence against women after a wave of murders, including the killing of a pregnant 14-year-old by her boyfriend.
Chanting “Ni una menos” (not one less), more than 150,000 demonstrators demanded an end to gender violence and bolder government action to battle the problem.
“We don’t want any more women killed by femicide. We want them alive. All of them. Not one less,” actor Juan Minujin said in a statement before the Congress building.
Frederick Polak, a member of the Men for Equality network, told EFE that the government “didn’t understand” that violence was due to inequality between men and women.
“It’s a constant struggle that will last for a long time until we reach full equality,” he added.
The demonstration was called by a group of female journalists, writers, and artists, after a pregnant 14-year-old, Chiara Paez, was beaten to death by her boyfriend, 16.
Although there are no official statistics on violence against women, according to the Buenos Aires domestic violence support group La Casa del Encuentro, one of the organizers of the mobilization, one woman was killed every 35 hours between 2007 to 2012.
Parallel demonstrations also took place in Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, and Miami.
Among the main demands, the demonstrators called for a full enforcement of the National Action Plan for the Prevention, Assistance, and Eradication of Violence against Women; free legal aid; the creation of official statistics and a registry of victims of violence; and the enforcement of a current law that requires sex education to be taught in schools.
“We need official statistics to develop effective policies and an adequate budget to implement these policies,” said Mabel Bianco, president of the Foundation for the Study and Research on Women.
In 2012, Argentina adopted a law establishing harsher sentences for domestic violence, but 277 women were killed by their partners last year alone, according to La Casa del Encuentro.