By Martin Mowforth
Key words: femicide; ECLAC/CEPAL; El Salvador; ORMUSA.
According to the Guatemala Human Rights Commission (GHRC), femicide is not simply the murder of females but rather the killing of females by males because they are female. It is a form of terrorism that functions to define gender lines, enact and bolster male dominance, and to render women chronically and profoundly unsafe.
According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, femicide is expressed in absolute numbers and rate per 100,000 women. National laws differ, but it is referred to as femicide, feminicide or aggravated homicide due to gender.
El Salvador has the highest rate of femicide in Latin America. On 13th August 2020 La Prensa Gráfica reported that ten women were murdered in the first eleven days of August, one of these being a minor.
Silvia Juárez, a representative of the Organisation of Salvadoran Women for Peace (ORMUSA), warned others to be alert to the dangers of violence against them: “In May we had ten cases of violent deaths throughout the whole month, but in these first days of August we already have the same number. It’s extremely dangerous as some of these women were assassinated in their houses.”
ORMUSA gave a total of 65 women assassinated from the beginning of the year to the 5th August, although the Salvadoran Attorney General said that 47 of these were femicides. The Attorney General lamented the deaths and urged the authorities to take a more active role in increasing the personal security of women and to eradicate the acts of hatred that cause this aggression against women.
United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, or CEPAL by its Spanish initials): oig.cepal.org/en/indicators/femicide-or-feminicide
Andrea Rivas and Javier Urbina, 13 August 2020, ‘Reportan 10 asesinatos de mujeres durante agosto’, La Prensa Gráfica, San Salvador.
Beatriz Calderon and Juan Carlos Díaz, 5 Agosto 2020, ‘Dos mujeres fueron asesinadas en Usulután’, La Prensa Gráfica, San Salvador.
Wikipedia, ‘Femicide’, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Femicide