Millions of Latin American women hit the streets of their cities and marked International Women’s Day, against a backdrop of broader social unrest in the region.
Millions of women across Latin American cities took to the streets Sunday to protest against growing inequality, femicide, and abortion laws, as women’s day unfolded throughout the world.
From Buenos Aires to Mexico City, women marched to demand their right for a life free of gender violence in a world where femicides claim the lives of more than 10,000 women each year.
Latin America has a top position within this bleak panorama with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reporting in late 2019 that more than 3,500 women were assassinated in 2018.
El Salvador is the country that leads the ECLAC list, followed by Honduras, Bolivia, and Guatemala.
In Chile, more than two million women joined Sunday a massive demonstration in a country shaken by social unrest and where ongoing protests started in October to reject the policies of right-wing President Sebastian Piñera’s government.
A spokesperson for the country’s largest feminist advocacy group, La Coordinadora Feminista 8M Alondra Carrillo, said that along with sharing the demands of the wider protest movement, women in the South American country are fighting for distinct issues related to gender violence, such as legal abortion, domestic violence, and equality in the workplace.
“Women are permanently subjected to various forms of patriarchal violence, which is an integral part of the way in which Chile is organized,” Carrillo said.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Argentina, the 2020 International Women's Day comes just three months after President Alberto Fernandez took office.
The latter has announced plans to create a minister for women and support an effort to legalize abortion after previous attempts were blocked in Congress.
Women in Buenos Aires marched on Congress late Sunday afternoon, and are planning to hold work strikes Monday in support of the abortion law, equal pay and legislation aimed at fighting violence against women.
Further north in Mexico, the day brought record numbers of women into the streets of the capital, as the number of femicides has more than doubled over the last five years.
In Colombia, women in Bogota celebrated the capital’s first female mayor, while protests unfold fueled by outrage over a recent court ruling that upheld limits on abortion.
Feminist mobilizations have been constantly growing and gaining momentum over the past years in Latin America.