Thousands of women march against femicide in Mexico City

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Members of the group Científicas Mexicans, which works to build community among Mexican women in STEM, hold a purple banner that reads ‘Never again science without us’, a march against femicide in Mexico City on Tuesday March 8, 2020. (Courtesy of Quetzally Médine)

On Tuesday, thousands of women in Mexico City marched against femicide. A total of 80,000 people are estimated to have attended sister events in Puebla, Cuernavaca, Veracruz, Morelia, Guanajuato, Chiapas and other locations across Mexico.

Attendees of all ages held signs and wore purple, the color of the event. The march, led by feminist groups and allied organizations, began in El Ángel de la Independencia in the late evening and ended at the Zócalo around midnight, where streams of purple were captured from aerial views of the street.

The artists sang, danced and played music. Speakers were seen handing out flowers to female police officers along the march.

Women have also taken part in protests across Latin America, including in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Chile.

The protests were held in honor of International Women’s Day, a global observance meant to highlight issues of gender inequality and women’s rights.

“In Latin America, young women are reluctant” against discrimination and gender inequality, Dr. Kuri Layla Sánchez Kuri, professor of political science and sociology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told Latino Rebels ( UNAM). “They have resources that my generation didn’t have, my mother’s and my grandmother’s generations, and our ancestors.”

Previous marches have been marred by police aggression, and this one was no different.

“There have been some pushbacks from the police,” commented Dr Kuri. “My university friends who stood peacefully were gassed. The march was a party for us, not just a political protest, and it shouldn’t have happened.

Weapons such as batons and Molotov cocktails were also seized from protesters.

According to government figures, Mexico experienced nearly 1,000 femicides in 2021, up more than 3% from 2020, although activists believe the number to be much higher, saying an average of 10 women are murdered daily in the country.

Among the most numerous states are Nuevo León, Jalisco, Mexico City and Veracruz.

“The goal of the march is to keep our voices heard,” says Dr. Kuri. “Women’s lives are our priority. We must protect this objective.

“We all have a personal connection to walking as women,” says Quetzally Medina, a PhD student in biomedicine at UNAM and a member of Científicias Mexicanas, a group that works to build community among women in STEM. “I don’t know a single woman, schooled or not, who hasn’t been assaulted, discriminated against or abused.”

Protesters who have lost mothers, daughters and friends have demanded government action in the face of rising femicides. From Cuernavaca, Morelos, postgraduate student Karime Diaz, who is part of the Vivas Nos Queremos (We Want Them Alive) organization, says, “The march is an urgent call for silence and government indifference.

The protests have also served as commemorations and vigils for victims of femicide.

Somos el grito de las que ya no estánshouted the demonstrators. “We are the cry of those who are no longer there!

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Yesica Balderrama is a New York-based journalist and writer. His work has appeared on WNYC, NPR, Latino USA, PEN America, Mental Floss and others. Twitter: @yesica_bald

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