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What is Femicide?

Femicide refers to the killing of women simply because they are women. This article aims to explore the meaning and causes of femicide and discuss strategies to overcome it.― Q: What is Femicide? ― A: Femicide is the act of killing women for the mere fact that they are women. It represents the most extreme form of gender-based violence and is typically perpetrated by men. The term was first used in 1976 by South African feminist activist and scholar Diana Russell. Since then, it has been widely used in human rights movements to describe the killing and murder of women. ● Femicide or Feminicide Femicide is sometimes used interchangeably with the term Feminicide. Feminicide is a more specific term, referring to the killing of women as a form of social control or political violence.Thus, Feminicide encompasses not only male perpetrators but also state and judicial structures that normalize misogyny. Femicide is a broader concept compared to Feminicide.<Differences between Femicide and Feminicide>FeatureFemicideFeminicideMotive Act of killing women because they are women Killing women as a form of social control or political violenceScope Broadened scope of murder cases targeting women More specific term referring to political k illings of womenPerpetrator Intimate partners, family members, strangers, armed groups, state actors State actors, armed groups, individuals acting in politicalContext Can occur in any situation Often related to situations where women's lives are broadly undervaluedIf you're curious about gender-based violence,check out the following article!↓↓↓What is Gender-based Violence?  ― Q: What are the Causes of Femicide? ― (Credit : Arab Center Washington DC)A: The root causes of femicide lie in longstanding stereotypes about gender roles, discrimination against women and girls, and unequal power relations between women and men. Harmful social norms also contribute to the occurrence of femicide. ● Femicide in Africa Femicide rates in Africa are relatively high compared to the population. In South Africa, it's reported that a woman is killed every four hours, which is five times the global average.The high incidence of femicide in Africa is attributed to a combination of factors, including strong patriarchal culture, domestic violence, poverty, and social instability. ● Femicide in Latin America In Latin America, approximately 4,050 women were victims of femicide in 2022, with Honduras having the highest rate (6.0 per 100,000 women).In this region, strong patriarchal culture, poverty, social instability, and drug-related gang violence are identified as the main causes of femicide. ● Honor Killings in the Middle East In the Middle East, practices like 'honor killings' are closely associated with femicide.Honor killings occur for reasons such as a woman's sexual behavior, refusing forced marriage, being a victim of sexual violence, divorce, or infidelity. The perpetrators are often close relatives like fathers, husbands, or brothers.In Iran, honor killings have some legal acceptance, allowing perpetrators to evade legal punishment. Article 630 of the Iranian Penal Code grants husbands the right to kill their wives and the man involved if he witnesses them in a sexual relationship, highlighting the urgent need for legal reform.If you're curious about gender-based violence in Iran,check out the following article!↓↓↓Reason for her Death: Improper Hijab― Q: What is the Current State of Femicide? ― A: Femicide is a global human rights issue occurring worldwide. The results of the 2023 report by UN Women, titled 'Gender-related killings of women and girls,' are shocking. In 2022, approximately 48,800 women and girls globally were killed by a family member or an intimate partner.2022 Global Femicide StatisticsSource: UN WomenThe key points of the report are as follows:<5 Key Points of the Report of'Gender-related killings of women and girls’> 1. Women and Girls are Most Likely to be Killed by Someone Close to Them Shockingly, many women and girls are killed by those closest to them, including intimate partners, fathers, mothers, uncles, and brothers. In 2022, about 48,800 women and girls globally met this tragic fate, meaning over 133 women or girls are killed daily by a family member.Intimate partners are still the most likely perpetrators of femicide, accounting for an average of 55% of family and partner-related killings. 2. Femicide is a Universal Problem Femicide is not confined to any one region. It's most prevalent in Africa (around 20,000 cases), followed by Asia (18,400 cases), the Americas (7,900 cases), Europe (2,300 cases), and Oceania (200 cases).When adjusting for total population size, in 2022, the rates were 2.8 per 100,000 in Africa, 1.5 in the Americas, 1.1 in Oceania, 0.8 in Asia, and 0.6 in Europe. 3. The Actual Scale of Femicide is Likely Much Larger The figures presented in the report, while alarmingly high, are just the tip of the iceberg, with many more cases going unrecorded.About 4 out of 10 intentional killings of women and girls are not sufficiently documented to be identified as murder due to national differences in criminal justice records and investigation practices. 4. Certain Groups of Women and Girls Face Greater Risks Femicide poses a greater risk to certain groups of women and girls. Particularly, women in the public eye, such as politicians, women's rights activists, and journalists, face higher risks. 5. Femicide is Preventable and Must Be Prevented To prevent femicide, harmful social norms must change, and entire communities and societies must develop a zero-tolerance approach to violence.Survivor-centered support and protection, early intervention and risk assessment, and gender-responsive policing and judicial services play a crucial role in addressing this issue.Gender-related killings of women and girls (femicide/feminicide): Global estimates of female intimate partner/family-related homicides in 2022Source: UN WomenIf you're interested in more statistics related to gender discrimination,check out the following article!↓↓↓A Femicide Factsheet: Global Stats & Calls to Action  ― Q: How Can We Reduce Femicide? ― A: Femicide is a severe global issue that undermines gender equality and peace. Combating and eradicating femicide requires a complex and multifaceted approach. 1. Strengthen Legal and Policy Responses! To reduce femicide, robust legal and policy responses are necessary. Joint research reports by UN Women and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime suggest risk assessment and protective measures, establishing femicide watch centers, and treating femicide as a specific crime. 2. Educate and Raise Awareness! Educational initiatives and campaigns are needed to raise awareness about violence against women and gender discrimination. Including content on gender equality and human rights in school curriculums, and conducting awareness campaigns through mass media and social media can help reduce this crime. 3. Encourage Community Engagement! Since femicide often occurs in patriarchal societies, community-based programs are needed to promote community participation and prevent violence against women. Collaborating with community leaders to enhance awareness of gender equality and women's rights and activities to reduce violence against women within communities are essential. 4. Strengthen International Cooperation! As femicide is a cross-border issue, international cooperation is crucial. This involves collaboration among international organizations, governments, non-governmental organizations, and civil society groups.If you're interested in how to create a gender-equal world,check out the following article!↓↓↓Creating a Gender Equal World― For a Society Where Women's Safety and Peace are Guaranteed ―True foundations for world peace are established only when women, who make up half of the world, are happy. Femicide is a fundamental threat to this peace and the most extreme form of discrimination and violence women face in our society.The shocking reality that more than 133 women and girls are killed daily highlights that femicide is not just an isolated incident but a serious obstacle to global efforts for gender equality and human rights.We all must strive to eradicate violence against women, and this requires the collective efforts of policymakers, civil society, and individuals in each country.How about showing interest in an online campaign related to femicide today and hitting the ‘like’ button?“Equality for women is progress for all.”-Ban Ki-moon,Sunhak Peace Prize Founders’ Award Laureates-Learn More:What is Gender-based Violence?Reason for her Death: Improper HijabCreating a Gender Equal WorldReferencesUnited Nations Office on Drugs and Crime & United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. (2023). Gender-related killings of women and girls (femicide/feminicide): Global estimates of female intimate partner/family-related homicides in 2022.A Femicide Factsheet: Global Stats & Calls to ActionWritten by: Yeon Je Choi

8 July 2024
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Sunhak Peace Prize

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