CONTENT WARNING: violence against women
After the consecutive brutal murders of three young women (including a 7-year-old girl who was beaten to death by her stepfather), outrage and despair led to weeks-long riots in Mexico City, in which women demanded justice and attention to the issue of femicide.
Then, on International Women's Day (8 March 2020), mass protest marches took over the streets across the nation, when thousands of women made public their rage, fear, and solidarity with other women. The following day, there was a national strike that cost the Mexican economy billions of pesos throughout the course of the day.
The manifestations in Mexico on International Women's Day attracted historical numbers of women and children, in countless cities across the nation. The march that happened in the city center of Oaxaca was just one part of an international movement against violence against women, felt especially in the countries of Latin America where women suffer some of the highest rates of femicide and gender-based violence in the world.
The pandemic has only made things worse in many cases, with victims of domestic violence forced into confinement with their abusers, and access to support systems limited or overwhelmed. Public health officials of the Mexican government held and educational press conference about these increased risks and created hotline numbers for emergency situations, but it is not and has not been enough to make a real difference. The Mexican government continues to negate violence against women as a real national issue, and therefore have failed to take tangible steps toward addressing the sources of the problem. In fact, current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said on national television that "women are treated better than ever" during his administration. (US residents: sound familiar?)
Across Mexico, women are demanding better education, justice for the sisters that have been lost, and an end to the impunity that perpetuates these atrocities.
#NiUnaMas (not one more)
#JuntasSomosTodas (together we are all)
If you want to read more about the International Women's Day protest in Oaxaca, and how the pandemic has affected women and children in domestic violence situations, see the article I co-authored for local (Olympia) volunteer-run newspaper Works in Progress about this topic here.