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How can we protect our women?

Nothing encourages crime more than impunity
Demonstration against gender violence - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
11/10/2017
08:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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The cases of women murdered in Mexico are quickly becoming a matter of public interest. After each known case, there is a public outcry, indignation, yet, the dynamics of information can cause the matter to be forgotten in an instant. Common citizens focus on new issues and gender violence fades away… until a new case emerges.

Most regrettable is that within the same time frame, the authorities themselves seem to also forget about the crime, they fail to report any progress made on the case and with time, the only thing which remains is impunity.

Governments at all levels have the obligation of providing safety to the general population, above all, women. Violence against women cannot be addressed as you would a common criminal case. These particular cases have other factors at play which deserve multidisciplinary attention.

According to the data of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), among the population of women between the ages of 15 to 29, 10% of the deaths recorded in 2015 were homicides, which represents the leading cause of death in this sector of the population. Int his same year, every 24 hours six women were killed in the country, according to a study by the UN Women Mexico. A good portion of the assaults occur at home, and in most cases, the killer is the victim's partner.

Pursuant to the National Survey on the Dynamic of Home Relationships, two out of three women said they had experienced at least one incident of discrimination or emotional, physical or sexual violence at school, work, or public spaces, from their relatives or their partners.

Dozens of demonstrations have taken place against femicides. Dozens of cases have shocked the general population. Names like Lesvy, Valeria, Mara, and now Anayetzin, have become the banners to demand “#NotOneMore."

Violence against women starts at home, follows them into the public transport and even at the workplace. Women need to make a habit of formal complaints; formal complaints of this nature should become priorities so proper and timely measures can be taken against the accused. Nothing encourages crime more than impunity.

On the other hand, we also need actions to transform our society, to raise awareness about the importance of gender equality and the need to eradicate sexist attitudes – starting from those coming from the Government.

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