Updated: Jul 22, 2019
Teresa Moreno - El Universal
Domestic violence against women in Mexico has reached alarming levels, according to UN Women representative Belén Sanz Luque.
In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, in the framework of International Women’s Day, she commented that she hoped “the definition of public policies for the protection of women’s rights will be a priority” for the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and that it would be reflected in his National Development Plan.
She underlined that shelters for victims of violence and their children, such as child care centers, needed to be strengthened further. She reminded that the Mexican state had an obligation, as signatory of international agreements and following its own federal legislation, to “guarantee the rights of women to protection and security.”
Sanz Luque asked to carefully reconsider measures such as the direct provision of resources for families as a substitute of financing for child care centers, highlighting that child care was not only limited to access to financial resources.
She pointed out that the weakening of such institutions could deeply affect the defense and guarantee of the right to childcare and have a negative effect on women’s access to the job market. It could even cause some women to quit their jobs.
According to the Mexican Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), 44% of women in the country have fallen victim to partner violence while 10% of girls aged 15 and older have been the victim to violence on the part of a family member that is not their husband or sentimental partner. Domestic violence are alarming and run deep. It is estimated that 66% of women in Mexico have suffered some form of violence at some point in their lives.
On the other hand, there is also a problem of extreme violence which often derives in femicide. It is estimated that an average of nine women are killed every day in the country.
Gender pay gap
Mexico has shown a huge gap regarding women’s participation in the job market. One of the main causes of this is that women dedicate twice or thrice as much time as men to taking care of children. “If our institutions cannot guarantee that the State will aid women in the care and well-being of minors, women will have to quit their jobs, because social conventions dictate that women are supposed to care for children. Ultimately, this affects our country’s financial development,” she stated.
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