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Eradicating femicide is not solely women’s responsibility

Just 19 years old and mother to a three-year-old, Eva died at the hands of her partner; she is the 11th victim of femicide so far this year in Costa Rica. While this figure is lower than the 26 deaths last year, it continues to concern the authorities, who are launching campaigns and announcements to end violence against women.

 

Alejandro Gómez

 

Killing her with a shot to the back, in front of their son, her murderer made the young boy the 16th child in 2019 to be left without a mother due to femicide. The year before, 19 of the 24 women killed were mothers, and they left behind 34 orphans.

Eva’s case, which happened at the beginning of November, gained notoriety in the country because of the multiple official actions that have been developed —mainly by the National Women’s Institute (INAMU) and the Ministry of the Status of Women— to raise awareness of the behaviours of husbands, partners and ex-partners that end the life of a woman they are (or were) involved with romantically.

They also highlight the need for both the victims and those in their close circle to report the violent situation experienced by these women, in order to avoid a fatal outcome. Although sometimes —as in the case of the 19-year-old young woman— even reporting does not avoid this outcome.

In this regard, Eva’s father, Oscar Morera recognised that, “during these years, the whole family was really aware that this would happen, we were terrified of this outcome. It’s not that you’re prepared, but we were conscious of the problem and we looked for the appropriate help, but our fear became reality”.

Faced with this sorry fact, the Minister for the Status of Women and executive president of the INAMU, Patricia Mora, called for efforts to be united to banish the root cause of the behaviours that can lead some men to end a woman’s life.

In fact, Eva’s femicide coincided with the launch date of the INAMU campaign #Soy Luz Naranja (#I Am an Orange Light), which invites people to join the fight against violence against women and girls in Costa Rica, as does the National and International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, celebrated on 25th November.

Mora stated that this campaign aims to bring to the fore the topic of violence against women and girls, and its eradication, for the entire month of November.

For the INAMU, the eradication of violence against women and girls is not solely women’s responsibility. The commitment must be made by men, the state, organisations, business and society as a whole.

The impact of this femicide was so great that when world professional boxing champion, Yokasta Valle, from Costa Rica, fought Venezuelan Yenifer León on the 9th of this month in the capital, she wore the name Eva on her belt. In comments after her victory, she stated that she wanted to convey a strong message.

Moreover, various Costa Rican entities joined efforts this month, in an itinerant strategy to bring specialised care services to women victims of violence who live in cantons, districts and communities that are difficult to access.

The participating entities are the INAMU, in conjunction with the judicial authority, the Joint Social Aid Institute, the National Child Welfare Agency, the Costa Rican Social Security Ins

“For INAMU, the most important thing is the women who are victims of any form of violence due to their gender, and especially those at high risk of femicide, in these difficult to access areas where services are limited,” explained Mora. The action fulfils the executive order of 14th August 2018 that declared violence against women a serious problem, in all its forms, and called for effective state intervention.

With all these actions the authorities hope to eliminate, or at least reduce, the number of femicides in Costa Rica, something they have achieved this year. However, for its eradication —authorities and specialists agree— much more is required. From education at home, erasing machismo, to stricter laws for those who take the lives of women. (PL)

(Translated by Rebecca Ndhlovu – Email: rebeccandhlovu@hotmail.co.uk) Photos: Pixabay

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