Millions of Women in Mexico Protest Femicide


Lily Earwood, Contributor

On Monday, Mar. 9, millions of women in Mexico held a 24-hour strike by staying home from work or school to raise awareness to the rising gender-based violence such as sexual abuse, killings, and rape. The strike labelled “The Day Without Us” in which only few women could be seen on public transport, restaurants, or shopping malls in Mexico City (BBC).

Every day about 10 women in Mexico are killed which displays the act of killing women because of their gender, or in other words, femicide. Mexico has been keeping track of femicide and the country’s attorney announced that femicides have increased by 137% in five years (NPR).

It is estimated by officials that around 80,000 women protested on Sunday, International Women’s Day, in Mexico City. Some of the protesters were more violent about the issue by spray painting messages on monuments, smashing windows and setting fires. The protest idea originated in February after the news of two murders: a young woman who was brutally killed by her boyfriend and a seven-year-old girl who was taken from her school and tortured (Fox News).

Vandals say that the lives of the women lost are much more important than the destruction of material things. Those things can be replaced while those women’s lives cannot be, they say (Voa News).

“In Mexico, it’s like we are in a state of war; we’re in a humanitarian crisis because of the quantity of women that have disappeared or been killed,” María de la Estrada, coordinator of the National Citizen’s Observatory of Femicide told AP.

This action also tested their president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s, leadership. He responded the the protesters in way that are described as tone-deaf or insensitive by critics as he based the killings of women on “past neoliberal policies.” That Monday morning, the president described their cause as “legitimate” but then preceded to argue that his political opponents were creating this protest to see his government fail.

He continued on to bring up how he wanted to “guarantee the well-being of the people” and brought up his campaign promise that he fight against inequality (Independent).

One of the founders of Circulo Violeta, Carolina Barreles, told The Guardian, “This is our femenist spring here in Tijuana … and we won’t stop until we get justice. This has only just begun.”