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Nikolic-Ristanovic observes that women in different corners of the world have higher chances of being sexually, emotionally, or physically abused in their lifetimes (28). Sociologists indicate that violence against women is witnessed in intimate affairs and relationships. The number of women who report cases of abuse and violence has been on the rise. Beltran and Freeman indicate that “between 15 and 76 percent of females are potential victims for violence across the globe” (4). Women encounter different forms of violence and abuse. Such issues are usually associated with trafficking, harmful practices, rape, sexual harassment, and abuse (Ortiz-Barreda and Vives-Cases 61). In Mexico, the chances of a woman being abused have continued to increase. This essay gives a detailed analysis of violence against women in Mexico. It also proposes appropriate measures and solutions that can be used to tackle this epidemic.
Why Violence Against Women?
The historical and cultural aspects embraced by many societies across the globe are to blame for the problem of gender-based violence (Nikolic-Ristanovic 29). In many parts of the world, men have been treated as superior beings. On the other hand, women have been used by males to achieve their potentials. Gender inequality has, therefore, remained a major force that dictates the position of women in different nations such as Mexico. In many parts of Mexico, the structural power imbalance is a major issue that gives men autonomy over females (True 31). Many women in this country do not have the required resources to deal with the problems affecting them.
Consequently, cases of discrimination against women have remained high in Mexico. The existing social norms have continued to define the roles of women and males in society. Driver believes strongly that “inequalities between males and females in Mexico cut across private and public aspects of life” (63). The social, political, cultural, and economic aspects of the country have always threatened the liberties of women. Such frameworks make it impossible for more women to realize their objectives in life.
The presence of inequalities founded on gender in the country is something that predisposes more women to exploitation and abuse. For very many centuries, women have been forced to depend on men for food and other resources (True 19). Different issues “to do with divorce and marriage are also known to place many Mexican women at a disadvantage” (Driver 92). Studies have indicated clearly that similar issues are encountered by women in every part of the world.
In Mexico, educational and economic imbalances have resulted in gender disparity. This situation minimizes a woman’s chance of having an independent life. As well, many societies have failed to implement appropriate policies to empower their women. Many regions have been characterized by “domestic violence and low levels of awareness” (Nikolic-Ristanovic 109). Most of the people who commit crimes against women do not face the law. This fact shows clearly that the existing policy frameworks have failed to respond to this problem of gender-based violence.
Nikolic-Ristanovic argues that “lack of adequate economic opportunities for women makes it impossible for them to address the problem of violence” (45). As well, societies that lack enough opportunities are forced to engage in different economic malpractices. Such malpractices expose females to violence. For instance, women have higher chances of being trafficked and sexually exploited in the developing world. However, these issues are encountered in every part of the world. That being the case, societies should examine the nature of this problem and propose new measures that have the potential to produce positive results.
Why Is This Problem Getting Worse in Mexico?
The problem of gender-based abuse and violence has become a major concern in Mexico. A report released by the Mexican Institute for Women in Mexico City (MIWM) in 2009 indicated clearly that the country had a high rate of gender violence (Nikolic-Ristanovic 31). The agency also indicated that over 38 percent of Mexican women had been physically, emotionally, psychologically, or sexually abused (Nikolic-Ristanovic 32). The report also indicated that most of these abuses take place in the home-setting (Beltran and Freeman 14). Statistics also indicate that “around 67 percent of Mexican women encounter domestic violence” (True 68). In Guatemala, around 47 percent of women are abused by their husbands or family members (True 29). These statistics show clearly that violence against women in the country has become a major problem.
Within the past 20 years, over “900 Mexican women have been abused, tortured, raped, and murdered” (Nikolic-Ristanovic 86). Most of the bodies are “discarded in the forest” (True 48). Recent studies completed by criminal departments in the country have revealed that such atrocities are committed by different individuals. The “malpractice associated with most of these deaths is known as feminicide” (Driver 94). One unique characteristic of this kind of crime is that it targets young girls and women. The prevalence of feminicide in Mexico has, therefore, become a major concern. The malpractice continues to affect the experiences and welfare of many women in different parts of the country.
Studies conducted in Mexico have revealed that every state is associated with increased cases of violence against females. Most of these women are abused by family members, husbands, bosses, or state officials (Driver 103). The government has also failed to implement appropriate measures to deal with violence against women. Traditional structures and conservative gender roles have continued to affect the welfare of women in Mexico. This argument explains why women in poor communities and suburbs have become victims of gender-based violence.
This kind of violence against Mexican women has become a burning issue today. Violence has been “associated with shocking and pathetic displays of carnage” (Driver 81). Drug cartels are known to traffic more women in this country. Unfortunately, the government has failed to present appropriate measures to tackle this problem. The driver has indicated that there is an ongoing gender-based war against the Mexican woman (65).
The number of women being tortured, strangled, raped, and their bodies dismembered has continued to increase (Driver 75). This kind of violence was usually associated with the small town of Ciudad Juarez in the 1990s. The wave of violence experienced in this small town forced more women to relocate to other regions. However, many suburbs across the country have been associated with a new wave of violence against girls and women. The most shocking observation is that the culprits and offenders are never punished. This means that more women will be targeted and killed in the coming years. Some analysts and researchers have indicated that most of the crimes committed against women in the country are not reported (Ortiz-Barreda and Vives-Cases 64). This is a clear indication that appropriate measures are needed to deal with this wave of violence against women in the country.
What Can Be Done To Address This Problem?
Protective measures are needed in order to tackle this problem before it gets out of control. To begin with, the government has done very little to bring different culprits into a book (Ortiz-Barreda and Vives-Cases 67). The situation discourages Mexican women from undertaking various economic activities. Such women have also been unable to achieve their potentials. Gender-based prejudice and discrimination continue to affect the goals of the individuals. The government should, therefore, introduce new policies that can safeguard the rights and goals of women in every part of the country. Such policies should avail adequate resources in order to support different communities. The move will make it possible for more women to have access to quality education and sustainable employment. Girls should also be empowered in order to become self-reliant in the future.
The issue of inequality should also be addressed using the best policy initiatives. The government should formulate a powerful policy that seeks to promote the concept of equality. People should have “equal representation in the eyes of the Mexican law” (Ortiz-Barreda and Vives-Cases 64). This initiative will support the economic autonomy of more women in the nation. More women in the country will get adequate training and be able to secure a good job. Studies have also indicated that homelessness is a major challenge in this country (Leon 29). The provision of shelters to the homeless will protect more Mexican women from various forms of abuse.
The criminal justice system (CJS) should tackle the problem of drug trafficking. This is the case because most of the offenses committed against women are executed by drug cartels. The approach will also reduce the number of women trafficked to different parts of the world. As well, the strategy will reduce crime and security in every part of the country (Ortiz-Barreda and Vives-Cases 65). These protective measures will make it easier for more women in Mexico to pursue their objectives.
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Domestic violence is the other issue contributing to gender-based violence. Different non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and agencies should use powerful campaigns to address this problem. Such campaigns should focus on specific issues such as domestic violence, social inequality, and discrimination (Beltran and Freeman 17). Members of the community will be encouraged to report every form of violence against women. Affected women will also be required to report their experiences to the right authorities. These proposals will play a positive role in addressing the major challenges affecting women in Mexico.
The existing gender norms in Mexico “are characterized by homophobia and misogyny” (Beltran and Freeman 16). Similar campaigns should, therefore, be used to destroy these norms and ensure every future generation promotes the concept of equality. The government should also introduce a new program in schools and colleges focusing on equality (Leon 88). This curriculum should promote the best concepts such as inclusion and women empowerment. This move will produce new generations that condone every form of violence and abuse against women (Ortiz-Barreda and Vives-Cases 65). Individuals who commit various criminal acts against women should be punished in accordance with the law. This move will deter more people from committing similar offenses. These recommendations will play a significant role in dealing with this challenge. Such measures will also support the dreams of every woman in Mexico.
Beltran, Adriana and Laurie Freeman. “Hidden in Plain Sight: Violence Against Women in Mexico and Guatemala.” A Wola Special Report 1.1 (2007): 1-20. Print.
Driver, Alice. More or Less Dead: Feminicide, Haunting, and the Ethics of Representation in Mexico. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2015. Print.
Leon, Amelia. US and the Others…at the Southern Border of Mexico. Bloomington: Palibrio LLC, 2014. Print.
Nikolic-Ristanovic, Vesna. Social Change, Gender and Violence: Post-communist and war affected societies. New York: Springer Shop, 2013. Print.
Ortiz-Barreda, Gaby and Carmen Vives-Cases. “Legislation on violence against women: overview of key components.” Rev Panam Salud Publica 33.1 (2013): 61-72. Print.
True, Jacqui. The Political Economy of Violence Against Women. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.