Ciudad Juarez, 2012: Solidarity Means Combatting Violence Against Women

Cape Town, South Africa, 27 and 28 August 2012


Ciudad Juarez, State of Chihuahua, Mexico had become tragically ill famed in the nineties for the repeated cases of violence against women: the two common forms of violence were murders and disappearances. The tragic facts happened over the decade 1993-2003 when some hundreds of women were found dead, their bodies brutally tortured, and many others reported missing.

At the time reliable data were not available; however, the high rates and nature of the murders of women and girls in Ciudad Juarez prompted the women’s movement all over the world to start using the term “femicide” to underline the dimension of the tragedy.

Media reported the horrid facts, authorities were accused of an indifferent response to the crimes and the world’s attention was alerted for some time. Ciudad Juarez became a sad symbol of the level of ferocity violence against women can reach. Solidarity with women of Ciudad Juarez and mobilisation was the response of women’s and feminist organisations.

After some years the international attention faded but not the killings whose numbers recently increased heavily: in the first half of 2012 more than 60 cases have been reported, more than in any year of the tragic decade. Unfortunately the reaction, both locally and internationally, have been feeble: the femicides of Ciudad Juarez proved unable to move consciences while women continue to die.

The Socialist International Women:

- Strongly condemns the femicides of Ciudad Juarez;

- Raises its voice in view of this new wave of gender violence and asks for common global action to stop femicides in Ciudad Juarez and world-wide;

- Recalls its numerous resolutions that strongly condemn violence against women, request expeditious justice, reparation from harm and the severe punishment of perpetrators and those who have passively colluded with them;

- Calls on all governments and international organizations to comply with all the commitments contained in Conventions, Treaties and Conferences on the Human Rights of women;

- Requests a strong commitment in favour of policies for gender equality as an act of prevention of violence, since violence is the most extreme form of discrimination against women, a brutal means of domination and oppression in societies still dominated by a patriarchal system;

- Launches an appeal to the United Nations and its Secretary General to make the prevention of large-scale violence a priority of UN action.

The Socialist International Women, recalling that the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will address the topic of “elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls”, commits itself to draw attention to femicides in Ciudad Juarez in its work up to and during the coming session of CSW.




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