“Violence against women is a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.” IIHR press release on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Fecha: (1/25/2022 3:22:36 PM)

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San José, Costa Rica. The IIHR joins in the commemoration this November 25th of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and salutes the untiring efforts of feminist and women’s organizations that continue to denounce and fight to eradicate it in all aspects of social life and to promote the full guarantees for the exercise of their rights, autonomy and dignity in equality with men in the hemisphere.

Despite the legal progress made in recent years under the Inter-American System of Human Rights, reality is something else. For example, according to the Gender Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean, “at least 4,091 women were victims of feminicide in 26 countries (17 in Latin America and nine in the Caribbean) in 2020.”[i].

While “this represents a drop of 10.6% with respect to 2019, when there were a reported 4,576 cases” of violent deaths of women solely because they were women, it is regrettable that not only that violence continues in both public and private spheres (sexual, physical, psychological, political, patrimonial, cybernetical and institutional), but also there is a lack of recognition of their sexual and reproductive rights, which include their autonomy to decide matters of their own bodies, and the regression in recent years in various countries, which are challenges to be faced.

With respect to the latter, the Executive Director emphasized that “thanks to studies in El Salvador on the failure to attend women with obstetrical emergencies that not only put them in situations of extreme vulnerability regarding their health but they are also criminally charged, submitted to unjust trials and disproportionate prison sentences, the IIHR has promoted a change in the treatment that they receive, has developed workshops with providers of health services and the police; held courses on litigation and legislative lobbying for defenders and issued publications, such as the Ethical guide for the medical attention for women who have obstetrical emergencies in El Salvador. These are tools that can be employed in other countries to confront this issue.”

Violence against women is a phenomenon that not only occurs “off-line but there is also on-line psychological violence, which is equally serious and worrisome,” according to Eduardo Bertoni, IIHR Representative and Coordinator of the Regional Office for South America. In addition to reaffirming the words of Mr. Bertoni that “we now have the impact of different technologies in exercising fundamental freedoms from the perspective of gender,” the Executive Director referred to initiatives such as the virtual course “Learning and lessons in electoral justice in Latin America regarding cyberbullying and violence against women in politics in the digital world,” which is now being held.

Finally, he stated that the IIHR will continue to contribute to the eradication of violence against women by strengthening the capacities of those who are in the front lines of defending and protecting their rights to a life free of violence and that States guarantee the full and effective enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set out in the American Convention on Human Rights and the Convention of Belém do Pará.

UN Declaration on the elimination of violence against women.