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Feminicide is a term that refers to murder of girls and women only because of their gender. The main significance of this term is the distinction it offers between the common murders that occur in our society and the killing of women just because of their gender. To a certain extent, female homicide is a byproduct of a patriarchal system of power dominating in US-Mexico border.
Feminists Jill Radford and Diana Russell were the first ones to coin the term Feminicide in 1992. The term is also defined by Monarrez Fragoso a Mexican researcher as “the misogynistic murder of women for being women.”
Female homicide includes all types of violent and inhuman deeds against women ranging from psychological to emotional oppressions, rape, genital mutilation, prostitution, torture, compulsory motherhood, domestic violence, child abuse, blows, and food starvation to death, female infanticide, and sexual harassment.
This paper aims at discussing briefly the meaning behind Feminiicides and explaining the different global gender issues it faces among the US and Mexico border.
In endeavors to establish the causes of female homicide, feminist organizations have recently commenced on gathering information about the profound female homicide in Mexico and US. Newspaper clips have been utilized as sources by the feminist organizations to bring together a database that allows feminicide quantification.
By taking an in-depth analysis on the collected data, more light is shed on the debate that surrounds killings of such caliber that exists in society (Brugger 12). Current research on female homicide has indicated that 547 women became victims to feminicide between the year 2004 and 2008 while 362 women narrowly escaped from attacks facing their lives.
As research has indicated, most feminicide normally occur in intimate relationships and analysis of the available data revealed that 56% of the murdered women were around the age of 16 to 35 year.
This is a clear indication that the perpetrators of these atrocities are boyfriends, husbands or ex-husbands, partners or ex-partners (Brugger 16). In other small percentages of the cases, family members perpetuated 12% of the murders, 10% were caused by friends and colleagues from work place caused 5% of the murders.
From the database, those accused of murder justified their actions by admitting that the crimes were as a byproduct of adultery and jealousy. Ten percent of the perpetrators admitted that their aggression was caused by rejection of their advances, or because of the woman’s effort to end a relationship. Ten percent of the murders were because of the woman denying their partners sex (Alpi’zar 6).
In some cases, revenge was the cause of 14% of the murders, for instance daughters were murdered to recuperate at the mother (Segura 22). Economic problems were also not left out in causing the murders, 12% of the killing were caused by economic hardships. Fights about abortion and bearing children caused 20% of the murders. Some killings were because of taking illegal drugs.
The motivations that were reported for the atrocities on women implied distinct cycles of male domination and power conveyed as a refutation of female acclimation or independence or rather sovereignty.
In the perception of men, women are viewed as having no rights and are instead seen as property: violence is used to manipulate the bodies of women, their prejudice, and their sexuality. The extent of the problem cannot be clear estimated since the state never contains any data linked to feminicide or register the killings of women as a separate thing.
Women terrorism reveals that female homicide is embedded in wide structures of power displaying it political and methodical nature (Fregoso 16). Issues of gender inequalities intertwined with economic unfairness, global differences, and racism in conjunction assist in propagating female homicides, especially in the areas most hit by marginalization.
Those contributing to female homicides explore strong social practices that have allowed the act of feminicide in distinct sites, not leaving out sexual violence prevalence to the militarization accounts and state terrorism occurrences in the state and the ever-increasing happenings of law enforcement officer assume they do not see or directly carryout atrocity against women.
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Female bodies have been viewed by economic advancement policies as disposable, exchangeable toiling bodies for universal neoliberal or sexual objects to be consumed by tourists (Tinker 8). Social dislocation fighting, deterioration of the environment, denial of legal basic rights and inadequate services in regions where great income is extracted by multinational corporations creates a feminicide picture altogether.
In areas that bolder extreme poverty and excessive riches, flourishes both illegal undertakings such as trafficking of drugs and human beings and mafia-like assemblage belonging to impervious royal families. In cases like that, devalued lives of women are given as sacrifices for various uses (Davis 23).
Horrifying women perceives female homicide as a violation human right of women powerfully involving the state, although states officials do not seem to participate directly in feminicide (Fregoso 18). One sure way of linking feminicide and the state is the insidious impunity hovering around the killing of women, always due to state organizations’ incompetence, or negligence.
Impunity upholds the notion that the bodies of women misused, dispose off, and murdered with no serious consequences.
Theories have been formulated that sheds light to feminist debates that interrupt the separation between public and private gender crisis and describe a number of such actions as persecution, regardless of the perpetrator of the atrocity either funded by the government, private persons or happening in war in times of peace.
One of the greatest issues that have contributed a lot to the increasing rates of female homicide is the issue of social inequality. Despite the fact that Central American women dominate many homes, the laws and cultural believes still entangle women to being dependent on men economically (Tinker 12).
The social mold of Latin America is based entirely on patriarchal mentality, whereby atrocities against the women are perceived as normal. This particular system of leadership not only encourages violence on women but also brings about economic and political segregation against them (Davis 25). Any contribution made by women is seen as an immature decision and is always overthrown.
Central America and Mexico have recently recorded a sharp elevation of violent female murders. Thanks to the strong groups of victims’ friends and relatives to bringing the issue of feminicide into public limelight.
A large number of women and girls have lost their precious lives through cases of female homicide that have been perpetrated by arsonist who have a mind perception that women are weak and they deserve to be mistreated. It is high time that the issues of gender inequality be scrutinized to allow women get back their voices and be able to air out their concerns and cries freely without fear of being murdered or mistreated.
Alpi’zar, Lydia and Marina Bernal.Youth, Sexuality, and Human Rights: Some Reflections from Mexico. New York: The President and Fellows of Harvard College. 2004. Print.
Brugger, Silvia. From Mexico To Lima Feminicide: A Global Phenomenon?. Belgium: Heinrich Böll Stiftung, European Union, Brussels, 2009. Print.
Davis, Diane. Challenges of Violence and Insecurity. New York: Harvard University, 2004. Print.
Fregoso, Rosa-Linda, and Cynthia Bejarano. Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Americas. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2010 print.
Segura, Denise, and Patricia Zavella. Women and migration in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands: a reader. North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2004. Print.
Tinker, George. American Indian Liberation A Theology of Sovereignty. New York: Orbis Books, Maryknoll, 2008. Print.