“The strength of women”
By Fatima Masse, courtesy of IMCO
The brutal deaths of Fatima Cecilia, Ingrid Escamilla, Isabel Cabanillas and Brenda Josselin are just some recent and known cases of the wave of anti-woman violence that Mexico is experiencing.
These crimes continue a growing trend of several years, reaching three daily femicides in 2019 . In addition, one in three women is a victim of sexual harassment or violence . They are killing us, they are intimidating us and despite that the response of the governments is ambiguous. There is no strategy, with grounded and viable actions, to curb this situation.
Therefore, in recent days a national strike has been called on social networks on March 9, so that one day without women or girls will be lived. What are the implications?
We know from the National Survey of Occupation and Employment (ENOE) of the fourth quarter of 2019 that 52% of the total population of the country are women. We represent 40% of the workforce (employed population) and half of the total students in the education system according to the Ministry of Public Education.
If all the employed women stopped working on the day of unemployment, the loss in income for households could amount to 6.35 billion pesos. This calculation takes the salary of a working day from employed women, separating those in the formal and informal market.
This loss is conservative because it does not include the cost of stopping unpaid tasks such as those within the home, but still it is equivalent to almost eight times the budget of the National Women’s Institute for 2020 or three times that of the National System for the Integral Family Development (DIF).
This loss will not necessarily be so high, because not everyone can stop their activities at the drop of a hat. For many, their daily income is key to bringing food to their home or their work is necessary to care for other people whose care cannot be delayed.
However, the initiative is a call for peaceful and forceful attention to send a message: the lives of women are invaluable for our society and our economy.
This value has not been reflected in decision making. No public policies have been published in the official register that align the efforts of the three levels of government in order to prevent such crimes against women.
Moreover, the solutions to the problem will be complex, since they require addressing the failures and weaknesses of the justice system and the security strategy, as Estefanía Vela mentions .
Increasing the penalty for feminicide, as approved by the Chamber of Deputies and sent to the Senate, will have little impact on reducing these crimes. “The severity of the sanction has no deterrent effect when the probability of receiving it is very low,” says Alejandro Hope .
You are right, in Mexico only 1.3 out of every 100 crimes are solved . This shows the inefficiency of our justice system. And women have faced a much more difficult and unfair landscape when they seek help from the authorities.
We Mexicans want to live in peace, we want real opportunities to prosper. It is time to end the speeches in which there is little empathy and much justification.
It is time for the Government to take advantage of widespread outrage to find a compass that guides the transformation of this country to a safe haven, where women and our families feel secure.
Fatima Masse is IMCO project coordinator. Her research focuses on competitiveness, public health, mobility, urban development and the environment, among other topics. In addition, she coordinates the competitiveness indexes of the institution.