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Sun Feb 10, 2019, 08:37 PM

Fighting Machismo in Latin America: The Formula to Combat Femicides

By Mariela Jara

"Beware: machismo kills", reads a sign in one of the demonstrations against femicides and all kinds of violence against women, a number of which were held in Lima and other Latin American cities in 2018. But growing public outrage did nothing to prevent 11 murders of women in Peru in January alone because of their gender. Credit: Mariela Jara/IPS

LIMA, Feb 4 2019 (IPS) - Peru began the year with 11 femicides in January, despite progress made in laws and statutes and mass demonstrations against gender-based violence. This situation is also seen in other Latin American countries, raising the need to delve deeper into the causes of the phenomenon.

Gladys Acosta, one of the 23 members of the Committee of Experts that monitors compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), expressed concern about the mediatisation of violence against women and the role this plays in fomenting it.

“The news is broadcast as if it were a show, without explaining things. Violent images are shown and you would think that this could curb the phenomenon by exposing such a destructive attitude, but this is not the case. That makes me think that many people see the aggressor as a patriarchal hero,” the Peruvian lawyer said in an interview with IPS.

In certain mentalities, she argued, “that translates as: how brave he is, I’d like to do that, but I can’t.”

“There is a very strong deterioration of values, and disrespect for the integrity of women, for their bodies, for who we are,” said Acosta, who has been an activist for years in the defence of women’s rights in the region, and who now mainly lives in New York.


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