By Jadyn Taylor
Femicide is the deliberate slaughtering of a woman or women. It is a hate crime that goes unpunished in most countries. In 2018, 10 women a day were murdered in Mexico. In the U.S., there have been over 64,000 black women reported missing since 2010 who still haven’t been found. In Nigeria, Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls in 2014, sexually abused them, and made them perform suicide bombings. The institutions put in place in these countries are allowing men to get away with these crimes. There have been several riots and protests with nothing being done.
I believe things need to change. In 2018, 2.3 million female immigrants were recorded in the United States. Women immigrants make up over 51.8% of the total foreign-born population. These women give up their rights to come to a country they know nothing of, escaping abuse, sex trafficking, and femicide in order to survive. Ever since a rash of femicides in the 1990s in Juarez, the number of women immigrants has risen. The issue needs statewide attention. The murdering of women who had clearly been tortured in Juarez, caused the region to start looking into the systematic killing of women. This led to the UN Women to launch the Latin American Model Protocol for the investigation of gender-related killings of women. The UN Women are now helping countries that have adopted the protocol to develop specialized legislation on femicide. Brazil was the first country to adopt this protocol, which led to landmark legislation passed in March 2015. Since then, 16 countries have passed anti-femicide legislation. The progress these countries have made is life changing, but it needs to happen everywhere to protect women and punish the men involved in these hate crimes. Looking at the severity of these crimes, more cases should still be open.
Greater attention and pressure must be put on global leadership and governments to make sure these cases are handled fairly. These women and their families deserve justice and peace. The over 64,000 Black women who have gone missing deserve to have their cases taken seriously. They deserve to be found no matter what state they are in so their families can have some closure. Women deserve to be taken seriously about violent crimes performed against them, but far too often, their voices are silenced and erased. Awareness about femicide needs to be taught and learned in all countries. Legislature on femicide should be established in every country.
This essay is dedicated to Ingrid Escamilla, a 25 year-old woman who was murdered and skinned by her partner, Erik Rosas, in Mexico, and to 7 year-old Fatima Cecilia Aldrighett Atton, who disappeared on February 11th and was found 4 days later abused, nude, and in a plastic bag. These murders would be the start of more riots and protests against femicide, putting pressure on Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, to act on the obvious problem at hand. When will the government put this legislation in place? When will women be able to live in peace in their countries? I am upset, Latin American women and women across the world are upset, and everyone should be outraged. This should be a worldwide topic. Until it is, I will not stop speaking on it and the UN Women will not stop fighting for adoption of protocol.
Jadyn Taylor is a community activist and president of WLP Gardena HS and GSA. She will be graduating in June 2021.