definition of femicide

Femicide is the murder of a woman because she is a woman. In this way, when a woman is the victim of a crime and said crime that has been committed because of her female condition as the main cause, this phenomenon is known as femicide.

A social disease caused by the macho mentality

Femicide is not a circumstance that occurs in isolation and in certain parts of the world. To a greater or lesser extent, it is a global reality and it is worrying because in some countries every year thousands of cases of murders of women at the hands of their partners or ex-partners occur.

Those who study this disturbing phenomenon consider that the main cause is the macho and patriarchal mentality in broad sectors of society. According to machista mental schemes, the woman has a specific social role (a wife subject to her husband, without autonomy as a person and dedicated mainly to the role of housewife and mother). When some women do not accept the macho role that is imposed on them, it can unleash a violent reaction that leads to murder. This usually occurs in cases of separation or divorce in which the man does not assume the new role of his partner and therefore decides to resort to violence.

According to the macho vision, the murder of a woman is a way of showing that her body and her life belong to a man. Thus, the motive for the crime would be a cultural conception according to which the life of a woman does not belong to her but rather that a man (her partner, her father or her brother) is the owner of her life.

In general terms, femicide is not simply a concrete event that occurs in a moment of anger, but is usually preceded by a climate of violence in male-female relationships. Pre-crime violence can be directly physical, but also emotional or through the imposition of sexual relations.

The different perspectives of femicide

The crime of a woman by her partner is not the only form of femicide. It also occurs in those cases in which there is a sexual assault (for example, rape) and after this act the murder of the woman is committed. Prostitution related to human trafficking is also another of the social contexts where women become victims due to their status as women.

Laws that protect women are not enough to stop femicide

In recent years, some countries have enacted laws aimed at combating abuse and crimes against women. Experts consider that the new legal framework is important but at the same time insufficient. To effectively combat femicide, the macho mentality of potential murderers must be changed, and this change must begin at school, in the family, and in the media.

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