To combat machismo and a long history of violence against women, Venezuela will host a month of activities, according to Minister Rebeca Madriz.
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Madriz, vice minister for protection of women’s rights, announced plans to launch a violet-colored national campaign for a life free of violence. The project will extend throughout November, ending on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.
United under the slogan, “Peace Begins at Home; No More Violence Against Women,” a light show will illuminate various tourist attractions around the country in violet hues beginning Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.
Venezuela is a leader on women’s rights in Latin America and has already seen massive support from the public around the country, Madriz said during an interview transmitted by VTV.
“There has been a visibility of popular women participation in the country. However, we come from a culture of patriarchy that is expressed through machismo, where women were excluded from public spheres,” she said.
Approximately 40 percent of the calls received daily via the domestic abuse helpline are victims of psychological violence, the minister said. Since December 2015, there were 75,000 cases receiving legal attention, while over 70,000 have received attention from the National Ombudsman for Women's Rights.
"Love is not violence, or harassment, or the idea of women as property," Madriz said, adding that gender violence is a social problem.
She encouraged every level of society to consider the reality of violence against women in Latin America and recognize it as a crime and a violation of human rights.
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The state’s participation and support of the event gives strength to the mission in defense of women’s rights, Madriz said, adding that the bill introduced by the National Institute of the Ombudsman for Women’s Rights is under review by the National Constituent Assembly.
As it stands, the law currently targets 21 crimes of violence, both physical and psychological, towards women. However, she proposed the Organic Law on the Rights of Women to a Life Free of Violence, be reviewed every 10 years in order to promote awareness of cultural issues and gender rights as well as correctly prosecute the guilty party.
A national debate will also be held on the decriminalization of abortion, the creation of a national family planning initiative, update of the penal code, as well as a plan for the prevention and reduction of underage pregnancies.