Feminist organizations launch virtual campaign to educate on the prevention of gender violence in Nicaragua
HAVANA TIMES – The campaign: “Machismo is a pandemic!”, led by Nicaraguan feminist groups, tries to educate on the ravages of gender violence. Nicaragua registers more than 700 femicides in the last decade, with 57 on them so far in 2020.
The virtual campaign includes the creation of the website elmachismoespandemia.org. Mey Solis, of the feminist collective “Las Malcriadas”, said users will find information on the situation of women in Nicaragua in the face of Covid-19 pandemic and sexist violence.
Solis said the campaign is “extremely important to make violence visible, in the context of the pandemic.” She noted that women are overworked at home and without wages during the pandemic. “This is a type of violence that is becoming institutionalized” in Nicaragua.
Concerned about pardons
Outside the home, she added, women are exposed to the new coronavirus and citizen insecurity. The later “because the Government pardoned more than 20,000 prisoners, among them femicides and rapists.”
From January 2018 to date, the Government granted legal benefits to 23,367 common criminals. These include men who committed crimes of sexual violence, according to data from the Ministry of the Interior.
Furthermore, Solis said there is a lack of concern on the part of the State “towards the lives of women.”
“We women experience a double pandemic. Machismo, also a pandemic, is protected under a chauvinistic and pro-femicide State and a society that is clearly violent. Women are routinely blamed for the crimes committed against them,” she said.
Advocacy for reflection and empathy
Amarilis Acevedo, from the feminist collective “Mal Portadas”, said that in the campaign they will share reflections on the macho culture and sexual violence, as well as the roles “that have been socially assigned to women.”
Promoted by the “Las Malcriadas,” “Brujas Mal Portadas y Enredadas” collectives the campaign has the support of the Independent Journalists and Communicators of Nicaragua (PCIN) Movement.
“We join this effort to establish a webpage where there is information about the violence that women experience in our country. Users will see we are doing something wrong as a society, which we must change. Gender violence is not a matter or exclusive issue for women,” explained communicator Abigail Hernandez, of the PCIN.
Women victims of gender violence
The NGO Catholic Women for the Right to Choose warned about these latest femicides, demanding justice for the victims. They demanded an end to the sexist violence with the slogan “Not one less” and “No more!” At least 57 women have been killed in Nicaragua as a result of machismo violence on the course of this year, three in the last 48 hours, according to a report released Saturday by a governmental organization.
The women killed in the last 48 hours were identified as Elisa Lourdes Flores Rivera (22), Erlinda Garcia (45) and Isolda Caceres (35).
The Government reacted to the latest femicides, labelling them as “hate crimes.” They then proposed life imprisonment be established in Nicaragua for such crimes. [However, independent journalism and opposition activism can also fall under the catch all law if approved.]
After criticism from feminist organizations, the government reopened the special attention office for women, adolescents, and children at Police Stations. These were closed in 2015 by the Ortega-Murillo government.
In 2019 at least 59 women were murdered by men, according to the records of feminist organizations. In 2018 and 2017 the total number of victims was 57.