By Alicia María Ocampo Jiménez
“Violence against women will only be eradicated when the principle of equality and non-discrimination of Human Rights is a fact for women, not just a speech empty of meaning for society”
Violence against women and girls transcends physical harm, and there are modalities beyond the family sphere. Mexico has made regulatory progress to prevent, punish, address and eradicate the different types and modalities of violence, harmonizing domestic law and public policies with International Treaties, Agendas and Consensus on the Human Rights of Women, especially CEDAW and Belém Do Pará .
The General Law on Women’s Access to a Life Free of Violence proposes to eliminate the causes of gender oppression such as inequality, injustice and the hierarchization of people based on gender through the gender perspective, so that women have access to economic resources, political and social representation in decision-making areas. Recognizing and eradicating violence against women, its types (psychological, physical, economic, patrimonial and sexual, according to this Law) and modalities (family, work, teaching, community, institutional, political, feminicide, digital and media), implies addressing to its roots to transform the patriarchal, androcentric and sexist practices that sustain them.
The National Survey on the Dynamics of Relationships in Homes (ENDIREH, 2021) reveals that 70.1% of the women surveyed have experienced violence, 39.9% in a relationship. Psychological violence has the highest prevalence (51.6%), followed by sexual violence (49.7%), community violence (45.6%), physical violence (34.7%), economic and patrimonial violence (27.4%). Compared to 2016, total violence against women increased 4%, and sexual violence 8.4%.
It is imperative that we put an end to retrograde beliefs and practices that have placed women in conditions of subordination in various areas, with the idea that we are responsible for service tasks, especially for men and in homes, which was even justified by thinkers of the Roman Empire saying that women are “imbeciles” or light in judgment; Also justified by Hegel because like Antigone we are incapable of participating in the political sphere because according to him we are based on the ethics of piety, and by Kant when he stated that women could only be passive citizens, subordinate to men due to our limited rationality. .
Mexico fell two positions in the WEF Global Gender Gap Index, in 2023, and it is evident that myopia and even gender blindness continues to prevail regarding the applicability of the principle of equality in the Human Rights of women, due to the naturalization of discriminatory and violent practices against women. It manifests itself in various ways in families and in institutions that reproduce domination over women, for example, with the search for partisan strategies to evade the constitutional principle of parity that is erroneously considered “gender quota”, or affirmative action: They do not understand that it is here to stay for the achievement of equality. Other manifestations are the androcentric use of language, sexist jokes, harassment and sexual harassment practices; as well as the exaltation of strength and the prioritization of men in the exercise of leadership and in positions of power, in access to resources and goods in various areas.
Inequality continues to be evident in Mexico and the world, because we are still considered “something” of-and-for-another, not as people with our own purposes and equal capabilities with respect to men, according to Simone de Beauvoir. Evangelina García Prince always observed that the cause of violence against women is inequality in this Patriarchal system, which is why it is impossible to eradicate violence by attacking violence: we must promote equality, as the foundation of change. In effect, violence against women will only be eradicated when the principle of equality and non-discrimination of Human Rights is a fact for women, not just a speech empty of meaning for society.
Professor, researcher and lecturer on gender issues, doctor in Philosophy from the University of Valencia. She is a consultant on public policies for equality.
Twitter and Facebook: @AliceOJ