Statement from CEM-H to commemorate 25th November
CEM-H is based in Honduras and is a partner organisation of UK based Central American Women’s Network.
To commenorate the International Day for The Elimination of Male Violence Against Women CEM-H have released the following statement to the international community.
November 25, International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women
Political Positioning Of Feminists In Resistance In Honduras
Center for Women’s Rights CDM
Center for Women’s Studies Honduras CEM-H
As feminist organizations concerned about the grave escalation of violence that envelops the country of Honduras, and the huge number of FEMICIDES, (violent murders of women motivated by gender discrimination) that now amount 285 cases from January to October 2010 and in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women we make public to Hondurans and the international community the following:
We express our deepest concern for the grave escalation of violence that is ending the lives of thousands of persons, especially young men, young women, and children of both genders in numbers that exceed real war scenarios around the world and place the country at the top of the list of the most violent countries in the world, with as much as 20 victims a day.
Honduras has the highest rates of violence against women in Central America and as a whole in the Latin American region. The United Nations has coined the term the “triangle of violence” to refer to the three Central American countries with the highest rates of violence against women: Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The number of FEMICIDES occurring in Honduras from 2003 to 2010 reaches 1464 victims. 44% of the cases have involved young women between the ages of 15 and 29.
More than half of the FEMICIDES that occur at the national level (55%) take place in the most important cities of the country, Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, the two most developed departments of the country, Cortés and Francisco Morazán, and where the maquiladora industry prospers.
Violence in all its manifestations in Honduras involves disproportionately men in their roles as aggressors in intimate, family, and community relations as well as perpetrators of organized public violence or organized crime. This includes hired murders, gang murders, or the crimes transnational networks of drug trafficking, human trafficking and others. Women’s bodies have become the battleground where men settle their scores, take revenge on each other, and demonstrate their power over women’s lives.
In an overwhelming number of cases, the women and girls that were victims of violence did not bring this violence onto themselves; the brutal aggressions against them and their deaths occurred while they were engaged in their daily activities, in their own homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, or walking down the streets in the main cities that have become the privileged sites of the femicides: 1 in 3 femicides took place in the house of the victim and 2 out 5 in the streets.
80% of the victims were murdered at gunfire, and femicides were the result of multiple crimes at least in 14 cases, with 2 to 4 women and girls killed each time, most of them in their own homes.
Women are killed because they are women; because men feel they have the power and the permission to exert violence over women, even the most extreme and lethal form of violence supported as they are by the impunity the state grants them and by the social tolerance of violence against women that protects them from punishment. Unsolved crimes accumulate as well as crimes that receive no application of justice by the law, and the victims of direct and indirect violence receive no attention nor compensation for the damage suffered. In all reported cases, 95% of them contain no information of the possible aggressor. Of 944 cases of violent deaths of women between 2008 and 2010 recorded by the Unit of Crimes against the Lives of Women of the office of the District Attorney for Women, only 61 court rulings were registered, that amounts to 6.4% of the cases.
Femicides are considered felonies, thus, the Honduran state is the main culprit for the situation of violence of women and the impunity of the crimes against them. We find ourselves today before a collapsed state with weakened, inefficient, and irresponsible institutions. The institutions of the state have demonstrated that they not only pay lip service, but that they have no real commitment to the law. They have no real intention to work to stop, prevent, and punish the violence against women.
As women and as feminists in resistance we call all women and men that believe in peace and justice, and all social and popular organizations and organized women of Honduras and the world to help us build a new Honduras in which rights, peace, equity, respect, and justice is guaranteed for all. Tegucigalpa, November 22 2010
CAMPAIGN FOR THE LIFE OF WOMEN: MY BODY IS NOT A BATTLEGROUND
STOP FEMICIDES: WOMEN ARE BEING MURDERED AND THE AUTHORITIES DON’T CARE
NO MORE IRRESPONSIBLE STATE FUNCTIONARIES AND POLITICIANS!
Please circulate the message to your contact and supporters of the struggle to end violence against women.