Amid ongoing gender violence and femicides in Argentina and across Latin America, protesters have pitched tents in front of the country’s National Council of Women on Thursday, demanding that the government take more action to prevent the rising problem which has been systematically ignored.
The encampment, involving protesters from women's and human rights movements, was kicked off on Thursday by the National Campaign against Violence against Women following Wednesday’s meeting between women's organizations and the head of the National Council of Women, Fabiana Tuñez.
Women’s organizations who are pressuring the government to take more serious action on gender violence and femicides say that the meeting failed to address their concerns. In the face of what has been condemned as ongoing inaction by the government, protestors threatened to continue their camp indefinitely outside the council’s headquarters in downtown Buenos Aires, just around the corner from Presidential Palace.
Women’s organizations presented a list of 17 points to the council, including regulating and fining media outlets who promote the objectification and violence against women, an emergency law on gender violence, improving care centers, labor prospects and legal representations of those vulnerable to gender violence.
The campaign also calls for an index of those killed through femicides and transvestites, as well as improving sexual health and abortion programs. The encampment included a press conference, a panel and workshop with guest speakers, open radio events and a cultural night, amid different colored tents sprawled across the road.
Femicides in Latin America
Organizer Sabrina Bruno said that the government “does not offer a program of prevention and eradication” to the problem. “The reality is clear; until now a femicide has been registered every 30 hours, but so far 2017 this figure has increased to one woman murdered every 18 hours.”
Indeed, a February report by Argentina's Wanda Taddei Institute found that 57 women had been killed in Argentina so far in 2017, one of the highest rates in the region. Of the 25 nations with the highest rate of violence against women, 14 are in Latin America. According to the United Nations, 98 percent of femicides go unprosecuted in the region.
Spurred on by a number of well-documented killings and systematic impunity, protest movements against gender violence and femicides have been gaining prominence in Argentina and the region as women have come together under the cry of “Ni Una Menos,” or “Not One Less.”