Mexico strike over violence against women
This is a CBC podcast high. Amac Galloway this is podcast. From March ninth edition of the current sound protests Mexico City yesterday tens of thousands of women took to the streets wearing purple the color symbolizing International Women's Day and they were denouncing what they say has become an increasingly violent country for women. An average of ten Mexican women were killed per day in two thousand nineteen. This is very important because of the rights of the woman. We are in danger. I think almost all women have at tack for some men in our lives once. I have to run to my house because they were running back for me and I had. I don't feel safe here like bullet transportation when and man gave me this sexual. I don't feel comfortable with literally two months ago. My one of my uncles Kissed me and the first thing I thought I'm getting in so much trouble which has to be all the way around. I don't care if we have to wait three decades to be free. I hope my children and I hope my grandchildren to be and free. That's why I'm fighting today. Today the protest went from noisy to silent women across Mexico are staying home from work and school to show Mexico what it's like to have a day without women. Isabella is an investigative journalist in Mexico. City she joins us from there and a warning. Some of which will be discussed is disturbing Isabella. Good Morning Hi Good Morning. Tell me about the protests yesterday. What was it like? On the streets of Mexico City streets were crowded with women who were emotional and angry and full of energy across the country. Women in the hundreds of thousands went out yesterday and and everyone was just trying to get the government's attention. It was really electric feeling. I mentioned in the introduction that alarming statistic ten women killed every day in your country. What are some of the specific cases that have prompted women to be out on the streets in these protests that protest yesterday was really spawned by two particularly gruesome fantasize on February tenth? The body of a twenty five year old woman whose name was Ingrid Grammy. Yeah was found new related and she has been skinned from head to toe. The boyfriend was caught. The photo of her body were taken by police and were leaked to the press which really outraged women in Mexico. Five days after not even a week. The body of a seven year old girl named Fatima who has been reported missing was found in a plastic bag. She had been kidnapped. Raped and tortured and that also became a sort of iconic case These two femicides really drove that protest yesterday as they became sort of iconic of. Just how dangerous. It is to live in Mexico. If you are a woman was awful stories We heard some of the women talking in yesterday's protests but how they don't feel safe in the streets of their country when you speak with women in Mexico what do they say to you. Not just about those specific stories but about what? It's like to be a woman in twenty twenty in Mexico. You Know Gender Related. Violence has really wide spectrum When you talk to women in Mexico. They're going to talk to you about how they can't get on public transport without being harassed without being touched They're going to tell you about how they they're really worried when they walk down the street even when it's in broad daylight they're traveling alone because they fear getting kidnapped or getting raped A lot of women will tell you how even in the workplace feel harassed constantly and you know their bosses have this claim over their bodies and they feel like at any point. They're going to be sexually harassed or even rate if they're around men and the best way to describe it as in Mexico as you are a man you really have a certain privilege that a woman can only dream up. But there's another part of this. That is that is just outrageous. Which is every woman in Mexico that you know has a story about someone they know who was murdered by someone for gender motive boyfriend or the uncle or the husband and that is what makes this simply so inhumane. That's what it's like to be a woman in Mexico. Today is your sense that the strike that is happening today in the protests that happened yesterday. Well that'd be a turning point. Will it be people have called for example for me to moment in Mexico? Is this going to change that conversation? You know it's interesting to call it a me too moment The me too movement really did inject the Mexican women's Movement with a lot of energy and it injected women with the courage to come up with their own stories but in reality was women in Mexico are facing so much bigger than just a me. Too situation this is about being murdered. This is about the violence that is happening in our country. Being reflected on women men are during the ones doing the killings and the Mexico even if it's for organized crime or other reasons overwhelmingly ninety percent of the perpetrators are men. So it's men and men killing women and this is the problem that women have now. This is no doubt a historic moments in Mexico. This will be the first all women's strike in the country's history. This is the moment in Mexico. Women Unite and they do something about being heard and being visible. We do hope that this will be a turning point and we do hope that the government will feel such pressure that femicide will not go unpunished anymore because ninety percent of them results in absolutely no conviction so yes definitely what. We're hoping is that. This is the turning point. Isabella appreciate you talking to us this morning about this. Thank you thank you very much. Isabella quota is an investigative journalist based in Mexico City Raquel Lopez as one of the Mexican women striking today. She's thirty seven and works for an NGO and she is at home in Mexico. City Raquel Good morning to you. Good morning why. Are you going on strike today? I really do. Hope that men We can start a conversation around their behaviors on the culture in in Mexico that beats to this Climate and this situation of Violence Against Women. And how it gets to a point where this kind of violence is perpetrated against women that any repercussion and it starts really with just the general culture of Misogyny in Disrespect in this idea that they have control over our bodies and the way they just undervalue women. In general we heard from Isabella talking earlier. About how every woman in. Mexico has a story about this every woman in Mexico know somebody who has been assaulted harassed or worse but they themselves have their own stories. What is life like for you in Mexico? Do you feel safe. I'm not in general. We always have to take precautions. And I and I think it's something that we experienced since we are very very young. Start to learn. You know certain things to do. Never say that you're home alone Certainly now even as an adult You plan your day around not being in the street walking alone at night or in places that will be to There's not enough lighting or there's not enough people none transit. I mean I know. I've been walking on the street And sometimes that's not enough because in broad daylight I've had Been come up to me and grabbed me Broad daylight with people around and getting out of the Public Transport In once I even walking with an in that happened to me. So it's really there's no way sometimes to to know when you're gonNA face the situation so you do what you can and you constantly looking around you aware of your surroundings Trying to avoid certain interactions especially with men or when you have to be alone With a man not give enough not to give any information. So it's basically just this constant state of being aware of your disadvantage and your vulnerability. Are you confident that this will change that? Given the strike today the protests yesterday but also the attention on this that at some point in time in the near future you will be able to to feel safer in your own country. I had to be confident about that but at the same time. This is why we're doing this because hopefully sometime in the future or maybe for you know our daughter's dinner Nieces we can. We can start change this hopeful though because I do see that the These issues are being discussed more Especially around circles and people that would usually not discussed it and and so. I'm hopeful that this will bring about at least more conversation and Hopefully this will also around a better response from the authorities which for now have not really Responded I think in a positive way. Raquel a appreciate you speaking to this morning. Be Safe and thank. You can't record. Lopez is in Mexico City now. I want the theme of this press conference to just about famous sites. It's very clear that issue has been really manipulated by the media. Those who don't like us take advantage of any circumstance to generate campaigns of deformation that in translation is Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador case. It wasn't clear he does not support. Today's protests medico. Compo is a feminist activist. Who's been fighting for women's rights in Mexico for decades metacritic? Hello Hi good morning. The president has faced fierce criticism for how he has responded not only to the protests but also the larger issue of femicide surprise that somebody who is elected on a left wing agenda has responded in this way to these issues. Well yes we are very surprised because we were hoping you know with the election of president who calls himself a less. You know president. We're going to common change. Will we've believing for for decades? He said that the feminist protesters oppose in his words the moral regeneration that his government is trying to promote. What is he talking about? Well you know promoting this idea of introducing these Conservative values you know like Families are forum by a man and a woman or Coming back to being a good people and he's also Revived these morals Booklet was printed in the nineteen thirties. And he's been distributing it around the country. You know to call people back to the moral values of the past so and in this book that we are not mentioned once you know. Women have are not mentioned. We're GONNA TAKE IT INTO CONSIDERATION. The booklet cookbook lettuce even from before we were able to vote. Mexico so when he says we heard in that little clip there that he thinks for example. The issue of femicide has been manipulated by the media that he says that this is some sort of conservative plot to try to to attack him. What's behind that? Wh- what is he trying to to to draw on? I think the president has me. Senator stood the fee feminist movement because we're not Asking him to do anything that we haven't asked before if this is GonNa against his government you know in Mexico we have at this moment Governor School from right from no right stems and and the president is in left. We're asking everyone because this is not just his problem. This is something that we're suffering all the time. Our governors our mayors. You know our attorney generals are not paying attention to the problem so every one of them is trained to use this women's Horrible thing that's happening to us. Nothing women killed every day against each. So they're distracting the conversation worst politics instead of working towards really Helping us to be safe in our streets. We heard earlier. Believe continuing go ahead. I believe you know. The president is not understanding that this is something that we have been experiencing for decades. You know Mexican. Women have the murder in in larger numbers every year. But this didn't start with him. You know if you go back to two thousand and seven he can actually see it. Spike in murders in Mexico for both men and women. So you know it is a great opportunity for him. You know to show that he transformation that he talks about so much Israel and instead of that you know he's he's he's is working against US instead of working with them. You've been doing this work for decades and we just heard two women talk about how unsafe they feel in their own country and how everybody has a story. Every woman has a story about this sort of violence given that work that you've been doing what's different about what's happening now. What's going on now? Do you think we're getting to a point where the younger women are understanding. They have rights. You know these are not favors that somebody's wanting to grant But these are rights. They have they can claim and Whereas before we were actually fighting for things that were just so basic as you just being able to get to work without being asked if you know if we're going to get pregnant not the girls are really under. They have really understood that. This is a right. And they're claiming it and I think that's what makes it so. Hopefully my mind to see them. I was marching yesterday. That's way on the little horse and they were in there where I live you know. We're we're ten thousand women marching and And he was really inspiring to see the younger ones. Who are the ones organizing? All of this. I believe this is going to change our country but it is it is really Wariness he's relation where sixty six point two percent of women in Mexico. Reports have been you know Do have suffer. Some kind of violence speaks point point two percent which is a really high number. You know and So I really hope that we can lower that you know it's not just fantasize. Femicide is just the tip of this is burn of violence and discrimination. And that's what he shows but we're fighting for every other rights. You know the right to get to work for equal. Pay Their right to walk on our streets without being bothered right through getting through university their right to to do To actually just be us. You know we're fighting for the right to choose because we don't have the right in Mexico to have an abortion before to a week except for two places in your whole country women in our country. Got To jail for miscarriages. Sometimes because you know. They are accused of abortions. So this is. This is not just finished. I fantasize the people I've been waiting for the whole Enchilada like they say is your sense. The whole enchilada interest in the last couple of seconds that we have is your sense that that a day like today where it's a day without women and women will strike that that will if not change. The country then certainly changed the president's mind. Well I hope it. Does you know because he's got today. Six Point six women will stay at home. So that doesn't make you stink Then I don't know I don't know what will make you think it's great to talk to you about this. Good luck. Thank you thank you mark. Rosa Compo is a feminist activist and human rights lawyer in Mexico for more. Cbc PODCASTS GO TO CBC DOT CA slash podcasts.