Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

Five women are killed every hour in their homes

IPS 15.11.2021 Corrispondente IPS Translated by: Jpic-jp.org

The home can be a deadly place for many women and girls, as more than five of them were killed every hour in 2021 by someone in their own family, a study by two United Nations agencies has revealed.

"Behind every feminicide statistic is the story of an individual woman or girl who has been failed. These deaths are preventable: the tools and knowledge to do so already exist," said Sima Bahous, executive director of UN Women.

Together with the UN agency for gender equality and the empowerment of women, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released the study ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is celebrated on the 25th November every year.

Of the 81,000 women and girls intentionally killed in 2020, 45,000 (56%) were killed by intimate partners or other family members.

In contrast, 11% of homicides of men are committed in the private sphere, revealing that the home is not a safe place for many women and girls.

The figures also show that the total number of homicides of women has remained virtually unchanged over the past decade, underscoring the urgency of stronger prevention and response measures.

Too many victims are still uncounted, according to the report. For approximately four out of every 10 women and girls intentionally killed in 2021, there is insufficient information to identify their deaths as femicides.

The report "is a horrific reminder that violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread human rights violations worldwide," according to UNODC and UN Women.

"No woman or girl should fear for her life because of who she is," said Ghada Waly, executive director of UNODC, calling for policies and measures "to stop all forms of gender-related killings of women and girls."

"We must count all victims, everywhere, and improve understanding of the risks and drivers of femicide so that we can design better and more effective prevention and criminal justice responses," Waly stressed.

Although femicide is a problem in every country on the planet, the report points to regional disparities.

Asia recorded the highest number of gender-related killings in the private sphere in 2021, while women and girls were most at risk of being killed by intimate partners or other family members in Africa.

The rate of such killings in Africa was estimated at 2.5 per 100 000 of women. The rate was 1.4 in the Americas, 1.2 in Oceania, 0.8 in Asia and 0.6 in Europe.

The findings also suggest that the onset of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 coincided with a significant increase in gender-related killings in the private sphere in North America, and in Western and Southern Europe.

Gender-related killings, as well as other forms of violence against women and girls, are not inevitable, the report stresses.

These crimes can and should be prevented through a combination of measures such as early identification of women affected by violence and access to survivor-focused support and protection, according to the report.

Other recommendations target root causes, including by transforming harmful masculinities and social norms, and eliminating structural gender inequalities.

Strengthening data collection on femicides is also a critical step to inform related policies and programmes.

Bahous said women's rights organisations are already monitoring the data and advocating for policy change and accountability.

Violence against women and girls remains one of the most widespread and pervasive human rights violations in the world. It is estimated that 736 million women in the world, almost one in three, have suffered physical and/or sexual violence at least once in their lives.

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as "any act of violence that causes or risks causing physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, sexual or psychological violence, including the threat of such acts, or the arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private life".

In 1981, the Latin American feminist movement launched a call for the elimination of violence against women to commemorate the date on which the three Mirabal sisters (Patrie, Minerva and Marie Thérèse) were murdered in 1960 in the Dominican Republic. In 1999, the day was adopted by the UN General Assembly, which proclaimed 25 November the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

See, Cinco mujeres son asesinadas cada hora en sus hogares

Photo. Women from Latin America and the Caribbean demonstrate against violence in the streets of Bogotá. Last year, 81,000 feminicides were recorded worldwide, and more than half of the victims were killed by their partner or other family members. © UN Women

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The comments from our readers (1)

Paul Attard 30.01.2024 So sad. And quite common in Muslim societies, though not exclusively. Here in Spain, it often makes headline news. Spain is still a “macho” culture, though perhaps better than before. Only a return to God’s laws can cure the problem, but I don’t foresee that happening very soon!