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Girls & Women

¡Ni Una Mas! The Mexican Epidemic of Femicide

Everyone knows violence against women exists globally, but the extent of extreme brutality and marginalization that females are subjected to is staggering. Specifically, femicide, or the killing of women by men because they are women, is worldwide phenomena.

Femicide is not contained to one nation, but in Mexico, particularly the region along the US border, a growing number of women are being murdered despite international pressure and government-led initiatives to stop gender related violence. According to the Mexican organization, the National Institute for Women (Inmujeres), seven Mexican women die everyday due of femicide within the republic.

Growing violence across Mexico has become aggravated by the ongoing global economic crisis, directly increasing instances of violence against women. While specific penalties have been created to punish femicide and some states within Mexico have developed research protocols and targeted policing measures, the incidence of violent crimes against women continues to rise.

Even with recognition of, and public outrage against, gender specific violence, Mexico has not taken comprehensive measures to guarantee the right to life of women, as established by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of 2009. Mexico is ranked 16th in the incidence of homicides against women globally. In a report by UN-Women, cases of femicide in the country are have increased steadily since 2007. There is a systematic pattern of ignoring femicide as a crime within Mexico, a reflection of the lack of access to justice for women. For authorities and courts, there is little institutional policy pertaining to gender equality resulting in severe failures throughout all stages of criminal proceedings. Female survivors of violent crimes are often battered and discriminated against when attempting to access the legal system. The vast majority of cases, as reported by the Mexican newspaper La Voz Dedurango, involving violence against women go without formal investigation in Mexico, both at Federal and local levels.

An Al Jazeera article reported that between the years of 2012 and 2013, 3,892 incidence of femicide were filed, but only 24 percent were investigated by authorities. Of that number a tiny 1.6 percent led to criminal sentencing.

For families that have experienced femicide, recognition of the violent crimes against women has become a series of struggles without victory. The stories are bleak. The ongoing aggression towards women in Mexico is clear in the individual reports of deaths: Adela’s dead was head bashed and her body left by the side of the road; Rosa Diana stabbed and beaten; Alejandra raped by three policemen.

Mexico is a case study of a worldwide problem - violence against women transcends borders, so much so that the World Health Organization (WHO) statesthat violence against women is a global problem of epidemic proportions. Without strong laws, and cultural and social support for female equality, violence against women will continue.


Gender related violence must stop! And by making the political personal, we, as global citizens, can work to end the injustice against women. So what to do? Show Your Selfie! and take an Upsidedownfie (I did!!) for safety and post it to your social media channels with the #showyourselfies and to showyourselfie.org. Now is the chance to make your voice heard against the violence and injustice that women experience! By adding your selfie to the thousands of photos that have been posted, you will be letting global leaders know that 2015 is the year to take serious action against violence experienced by women and girls!

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Kathleen Ebbitt