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VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: A PENDING ACCOUNT FOR OUR SOCIETY

-DRA. DIANA GALIMBERTI

The FLASOG Sexual and Reproductive Rights Committee aims to promote in each member society the creation, if there were none, of local committees with clear objectives and to make an epidemic, such as gender-based violence, which takes away years of healthy life for the woman and her family, she can have help to palliate it.

As an introduction we can say:
The creation of local Committees against gender violence within the different gynecology and obstetrics societies in Latin America is a pending and necessary account in the face of the pandemic of violence against women.

According to the Convention of Belem do Pará, violence against women is “…any action or conduct, based on gender, that causes death, harm or physical, sexual or psychological suffering to women, both in the public sphere and in the private”.

More than half of the femicides produced in the world happen in Latin America, a region where 12 women are victims of femicide every day. In this regard, although the information provided by some countries is still incomplete, the following figures can be discussed:

Femicide is the homicide committed by a man against a woman because of her status as a woman. Legally, not only the legal right of life is protected, but also others such as dignity, equality and personal safety.

It should be noted that 17 countries in Latin America have passed femicide laws, establishing it as a crime other than homicide or as an aggravating penalty. The last of them was Uruguay. However, this has not led to a reduction in the number of femicides. On the contrary, they have increased in number in Latin America in recent years with high rates of impunity for the aggressors.

Likewise, all Latin American countries have ratified the Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Violence against Women, but only eight countries have a comprehensive law on violence against women.

Both men and women suffer violations of their human rights. However, all aggression perpetrated against a woman has characteristics that allow it to be identified as gender violence. This means that it is directly linked to the unequal distribution of power and the asymmetrical relationships that occur in a society with a patriarchal model.

In this regard, it is important to highlight that one in three women has been a victim of sexual or gender-based violence in her life and that 38% of homicides of women are perpetrated by their male partner.

From the gynecology and obstetrics societies, it is necessary to create local violence committees that can make different contributions in order to combat violence against women:

·First, promote the education of health professionals on issues related to human rights such as gender violence and reproductive rights.
·In this sense, it is important to create health policies that include services that provide an empathetic and quality response to women who suffer or survive violence.
· As well as activism in favor of the creation and development of protection programs for women and shelters for victims of domestic violence and their daughters and sons.
· Likewise, it is essential to promote the labor inclusion of victims of violence through training programs, as well as psychological assistance for both the victim and her daughters and sons.
In the same way, promote the sanction of laws that provide an essential income to the victims that guarantees their access to basic needs so that their economic situation does not prevent them from making the complaint and the necessary procedures for its resolution and that she is not conditioned to remain with the aggressor for fear of being left on the street with her sons and daughters.
· In the same way, it is necessary to promote the socio-labour inclusion of victims of violence through training programs, as well as psychological assistance for both the victim and her daughters and sons.
·On ​​the other hand, it is necessary to collaborate in improving the speed and efficiency of the judicial system, especially in measures to protect victims, since there are many cases where the victim of femicide had previously denounced her aggressor.
·It is also important to develop administrative records to know the real number of victims and promote prevention programs in which the dissemination of information prevails.
·For all these reasons, it is necessary to create a monitoring record of the aforementioned actions in order to be able to evaluate the progress achieved and the fulfillment of clear goals.

Finally, the agreement between the different societies of Latin America in the composition of this text must be valued, which serves as a basis for the development of the measures indicated to combat violence against women and that demonstrate the commitment of the region to deal with this problem. In this Newsletter we want to present the members of the FLASOG Sexual and Reproductive Rights Committee, made up of:

Dr. Desiree Mostajo Flores. Bolivia.
Dr. Diana Galimberti. Argentina.
Dr. Fanny Corrales. Paraguay.
Dr. Linda Valencia. Guatemala.
Dr. José David Mariscal. Mexico
Dr. Enrique Pons. Uruguay.

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Femicide figures sources:

Argentina: NGO Casa del Encuentro.
Bolivia: Office of the Attorney General of the State of Bolivia.
Brazil: Public Ministry of Brazil.
Guatemala: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Mexico: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Data corresponding to female deaths with presumption of homicide due to lack of accurate data on femicide. Paraguay: Center for Documentation and Studies of Paraguay.
Uruguay: Ministry of the Interior of Uruguay.

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