Sex crimes and femicide force Mexican women to take the streets

Let's not forget the central issue: reiterated physical attacks and sexual abuse against women

Sex crimes and femicide force Mexican women to take the streets
On Friday, women protested gender violence in Mexico City - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 19/08/2019 09:16 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:23
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For years, Mexico has witnessed several protests and demonstrations organized by women. Women usually take the streets on significant dates: March 8, the International Women's Day, and on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women but in recent years, femicides and aggressions have increased and have forced women to protest more and more often, in order to demand justice and protection.

In recent months, women have also raised their voices through social media using hashtags such as #MeTooMx and #TheStreetIsOurs.

The most recent hashtag is #TheyDon'tProtectMeTheyRapeMe, which makes reference to the Mexico City police officers accused of raping a minor. This recent case, and others, sparked a new protest on Friday. The protest then resulted in acts of vandalism, like the destruction of a Metrobus station and spray paint on the Angel of Independence; also, a reporter was attacked by a man while he was reporting. The scenes were broadcasted live and shared by other news outlets and through social media.

Although some people criticized this behavior, let's not forget the central issue: reiterated physical attacks and sexual abuse against women; these crimes, as well as femicide, continue to increase throughout the country and are punished with insufficient sanctions.

Could the damages have been prevented? In the same week, the same groups had protested outside Mexico City Attorney General's Office and destroyed some windows and furniture. There was a lack of communication and dialogue to listen to the demands and reach an agreement to solve the issue. Nevertheless, women and local authorities met on Sunday; during the meeting, the activists proposed alternatives to eradicate violence and Mexico City's government was willing to change the narrative that described the protests as a “provocation.” 

Although gender violence is not exclusive to Mexico City, the local government has the opportunity to lead the crusade against gender violence. There are regions that register high femicide rates and local authorities would rather ignore the alarming numbers. After the Friday protest, there have been new developments in regards to attention to women. Hopefully, this is the beginning of real change.
 

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