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In defense of our women

Our country is in dire need of a deeper reflection on women and on how we understand them
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
19/09/2017
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Our country is in dire need of a deeper reflection on women and on how we understand them, on how we treat them in public spaces and in everyday life. Within a sexist society, women not only need to pave their own way to achieve their educational and professional goals, in some regions of the country, many are also forced to take extreme and extraordinary measures to protect their lives.

There is a generalized concern regarding the cases of women who have been murdered because of gender violence; however, it should also be a cause of concern the aggression towards them, which has become commonplace in public life. Women in Mexico still have a long way ahead of them to be fully recognized by the Law and society in practical terms.

EL UNIVERSAL publishes today several traditions still practiced by our society which violate the fundamental human rights of women in Mexico City. In the Milpa Alta borough, bride kidnapping continues occurring, where older men take younger women to live with them, occasionally against their will. Authorities say this is just a tradition; experts consider it a cultural pattern of the area.

How must a woman be seen in the memory and conscience of a civilization so that a man believes it is socially acceptable to kidnap her? It is, perhaps, the same conscience which allows a person to assault a woman from a position of power, knowing there will be no consequences for his actions. The painful femicides in Juárez City, Chihuahua, and the State of Mexico – each part of a timeline – were only omens: women don't live safe in our country.

In Mexico, attacking and assaulting a woman usually doesn't have legal consequences. Nevertheless, while it's true the solution falls on the higher laws and institutions, the main battle is fought on the cultural ground. Sexual objectification is part of the coexistence codes of our times, a phenomenon we can perceive in our everyday life.

Governments, companies, mass media, education institutions, and civil society share a serious responsibility in reconfiguring a culture which promotes chauvinism and transforming it into a culture where all the members of a society are equal. Women, just because of their gender, are in a permanent condition of vulnerability today in Mexico. It's time to do what's right to end this for once and for all.

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