Outraged By Femicides, Mexican Women Demand Change During Nationwide Walkout

Mar 9, 2020

From Texas Standard:

On Sunday, thousands of women protested in the streets of Mexico City, demanding a stop to the growing problem of femicide in Mexico. Femicide – the killing of a woman because of her gender – is also a hate crime. According to some estimates, the demonstration on Sunday, which coincided with International Women's Day, was one of the largest of its kind in Mexico's history.

Melissa del Bosque is a freelance investigative reporter based in Mexico City. She says women are continuing the demonstration through Monday, which has made the city feel like a ghost town.

"A general women's strike has been called for today in Mexico, so a lot of businesses, universities, schools are shut down today in solidarity," del Bosque says.

Demonstrators hold a banner in honor of a woman who was a victim of femicide.
Credit Lucy Sanabria, published with permission from Sopitas

The city of 20 million people is eerily quiet, she says. There's no street traffic, and while some schools are open, most girls stayed home.

Femicides are on the rise, del Bosque says. The number has more than doubled over five years. An average of about 10 women are killed daily. And the problem is even worse in Central America, she says.

Two recent cases were particularly gruesome, and helped fuel calls for the protest.

But Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador doesn't appear to support the protests. He's blamed the movement on political rivals, and has said he's a "humanist," not a feminist.

Del Bosque says the protests could be the beginning of a "woman's spring" movement – one that could drive political and social change in Mexico.

"This makes a huge statement," del Bosque says." Women are becoming more empowered and they're pushing back. ... People see it happen in one country and then they take their hope and inspiration from other movements that they're seeing around the world."

Written by Caroline Covington.