Look at you. You’re poor, you're ugly,
You’re a woman, you are nothing. (El color purpura-Alice Walker)
Feminicide is the practice to kill or commit murders against woman. According to the medical dictionary is “The killing of women. For example, AIDS in Africa has been termed "mass femicide." Femicide is in contrast to the literal meaning of homicide as the killing of men”
If we are going to talk about feminicide it’s important that we recognize that women have rights, duties and we like woman recover a lot of important roles in our society. Talk about this is not only talking about crimes against women. From my point of view this important topic implies psychological violence, violence from husbands, discrimination in job, in some places, and different roles in the society.
As we know women have been develop a big process in our history. In old societies women were submitted by men and the same religion fulfilled a fundamental paper. With this position paper I would like to show the reality of a lot of woman in Juarez México and Colombia. I chose this topic because I was inspired by a documentary. This visual work shows the case of a lot of feminicides in Juarez Mexico. And it’s so sad to accept that the government doesn’t work in this social problem.
Juarez is located in the north of Mexico, in the state of Chihuahua. The population is around 1,301,452 in 2005. Some years ago, like 1993 Juarez has suffer a big problem, the woman have been tortured and killed. The characteristics of these girls are:
1 They worked in maquilas. The age of these girls redound in 10 and 35 years old.
2. The principal places when they have been found are: Lote Bravo, Granjas Santa Elena, colonia La Nueva Hermila, las faldas del Cerro del Cristo Negro y el Puente Libre que une a Juárez con El Paso, Texas.
3. This woman was poor and vulnerable.
Unfortunately a lot of persons in the world don’t know this case. In the documentary “Ciudad de Juarez” you can see the reality of woman in this country.
I’m sure that when you see the documentary you are going to feel sadness, impotence, but the most important thing: you are going to ask this. Is the same in Colombia? Feminicide is only killed woman? If you are a woman you can think of solutions if you are men you are going to think how woman need to be respected and rated in our society. Who I can contribute that woman have better conditions and future in the world?
Resuming the case of Juarez, I can say three different points of view. First, based in the documentary the government doesn’t work in this problem. Why? As we know the duties of the government are: “fight for the welfare of citizens”, one of this is “do justice”. But in Mexico when Vicente Fox was president he was working in other things, never try to resolve this problem. In “ciudad de Juarez” an important women in police and cases of justice say “Actually, this kind of violence against women is normal around the world. All counties have this problem” but my question here is: we HAVE to accept that Feminicide is normal in all countries? We need to realize that a lot of woman died from causes of violence? And we can’t do anything? Second, the families of the victims say that the government has to implement justice. One case in the documentary show that the government tries to do justice, but by the wrong way. I mean, the family of one of many victims demanded justice and find the guilty, the government worked in this. But the guilty was allegedly the cousin of the girl. In the documentary the family expressed their disgust and inefficiency by the Mexican government. As they are sure that the cousin isn’t the guilty, is more, they have test and for the government it doesn’t matter. It’s so difficult to face this kind of problems. My point in this part is; if we don’t have protection and justice by our governments. What we can expect? Finally, I would like to show the good job from some journalists who were the persons that worked hard in this case. Because they investigated and support the families’ victims. Thanks to this documentary a lot of people can know the sad reality and start to thing in possible solutions to defend the rights of woman. I hope that now you are one of these persons.
Now, you know the case of Juarez. But the question that I had before was. Is the same in Colombia? Mi answer is YES. According to Olga Lucia Sanchez, who belongs to “corporacion casa de mujer” the 55% of Feminicide are from illegal armed groups. Since my point of view in Colombia we have two big causes of Feminicide one of this is armed conflict and the other is domestic violence.
In Colombia the penal code law 599 of 2000 in the article 58, numeral 3. Defined a general causal of aggravation of punishment when the crime was committed on account of <<… the characteristics of victims by reasons of race, ethnicity, ideology, religion, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation…>> (4). However, this causal is not use by the judicial power in the moment to impose the criminal sanction in the cases of died woman. It’s so sad the laws are not met. Colombian women have a problem we feel scared to bury. And this scared have psychological implications. For example, in a case that the couple of a girl is abusing her, if the man apologizes and tried to remedy this situation the girl though that he can change. But in some cases the man doesn’t change and is like a vicious circle. When women don’t faces or don’t identify warning signs the risk of death may increase
One important point in this country is the treatment that mass media have with this social phenomenon. I saw all day’s news related with Feminicide from armed conflict or from domestic violence. I think that this is a “mediatic show” Colombian persons are used to see these things, now Colombian persons are not conscious of this problematic. In conclusion every day we can find Feminicide and my second question was: Feminicide is only killed woman? We can’t forget that the violence that women have is a hard reality unlike men, the violence that we as women suffer is systematic, structural and constant. Also from different spaces and instances.
In this part I have a question. How men justify violence against women? For example in Colombia all days we can see on the news something like that. One husband killed his wife because he felt jealousy. One husband killed his wife in front of his little daughters because she was with other boy. Things like these are the reasons for men to kill women. In my opinion this kind of reasons are insufficient to react in this way. In the other hand religion has too reasons to justify Feminicide, I mean, not the murders but the submission and maleness can grow with this kind of ideology. Because you can find in catholic religion, specifically in the bible that women need to respect and make all that her husband’s order. In proverbs 31 we can find the writing about “virtous woman”. in conclusion this proverb is the reflection about the role of woman in a society, and the role is to check the business of her husband, control children, take care of her family etc. but the bible never mentioned that woman can work in politics, in business, in men´s work.
Other reason to justify Feminicide is with songs; unfortunately songs have lyrics that show at women like a sexual object, and this kind of lyrics contribute to Feminicide. Because men think that this is the way to treat women. In our society we have stereotypes in mass media, in movies, on TV, on soup operas etc. the stereotype is a woman with a perfect body, perfect smile, with a lot of money. Actually, this is the kind of women that we need in our society? Please, think what the real importance of woman is.
Finally, now we know that Feminicide is not only killing woman. But we can contribute to respect the rights of all women? Off course we can, step by step, in Colombia you can find a lot of organizations about this. For example “sisma mujer”, “Corporación Humanas - Centro Regional de Derechos Humanos y Justicia de Género”,” Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres”. These organizations have good programs and ideologies. But we since our home, our studies, our behaviors, our religion and stuff can contribute first, finding and recognizing gender equality in house, in job, in places, in politic, in mass media etc. woman can do the same works in politic, in mass media, we as woman can take better decisions than men.
Woman: we are free, we are love, we are patience, we are water, we are air, we are mothers, we are wife’s, we are flowers, we are beauty, we are intelligence, we are light, we are sun, but above all we are humans” .