Gender-based violence is unfortunately such a present component of many parts of Argentine society that headlines pointing to its existence are hardly surprising. However, news of femicides, or the deliberate murder of women, reached a tipping point this year and launched the Ni Una Menos movement, ultimately resulting in some (minor) government action. It’s a start. Let’s recap:
- Back in April, María Eugenia Lanzetti, a 44-year-old kindergarten teacher from the city of Córdoba, was murdered by her husband in front of her classroom. Then in May, Chiara Páez, a 14-year-old girl from eastern Santa Fe Province, was beaten to death by her boyfriend after he discovered she intended on keeping the fetus with which she was three months pregnant. They both made headlining news.
- Stats provided the NGO La Casa del Encuentro — notably, that approximately 1808 women had been killed since 2008 representing an average of one murder every 30 hours — began circulating in local media.
- A group of journalists and activists launched Ni Una Menos, a movement that began as a social media campaign in which people posted photos of themselves holding signs that read “Not one less” (referring to “not one less” woman — or “not one more death” due to femicide.)
- The movement culminated in a march on June 3rd that brought 300,000 men and women to Buenos Aires’ Congress to demand government action.
- A record number of women won gubernatorial elections in the October 25th general elections (five! Out of 23. I know.). These included María Eugenia Vidal, the new governor of Buenos Aire Province, one of the most important and populous provinces in the country.
- There were many other smaller marches accompanying the June 3rd Ni Una Menos protest, including one in which men called on each other to don skirts out of solidarity with the movement on November 4th.
- The first National Registry of Femicides was created and put into effect on November 25th and beginning on November 26th, victims of gender-based violence were granted access to free legal advice.
Additional notes: with the end of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s term as President, we saw the most prominent female politician in decades exit the political sphere (for now). We now have a female Vice President in Gabriela Michetti, but time will tell if she goes to bat for women. Unfortunately, many doubt she will, given her ultra Catholic background (she is virulently anti-abortion. Though it should be noted that Cristina was not pro-choice either). And though we’re giving new President Mauricio Macri the benefit of the doubt, it looks like he’ll be unflinching in his stance, which he has called “without a doubt pro-life.”
For more articles in this series, check out the following: