Tens of thousands of women disappeared from streets, offices, and classrooms across Mexico on Monday as part of a nationwide strike to protest the violence they have suffered and demand government action against it.
Organizers said the absence of women from public spaces was intended to remind that ten women are killed in Mexico every day — and therefore disappear forever.
Lorena Wolffer, an artist and feminist activist, said, “It is no longer possible to continue living in a country where a woman can be brutally murdered, with no consequences, and in a culture that allows this to happen She gives.
The strike, a march that drew thousands of women to the streets on Sunday, was a burning moment for Mexico, a nation that has long failed to grapple with exaggerated manhood and gender-based violence.
The leadership of President Andres Manuel López Obrador was also tested in unprecedented mass action. As small protests shook Mexico City over the past weeks, she appeared unable to recognize the horrors of growing frustration, “blaming the murders of women on past neoliberal policies,” and the ways critics tone-deaf, insensitive or condescending Responding to the demands of the protesters as described.
On Monday morning, Mr. Lopez Obrador said the feminist movement was fighting for a “legitimate” cause, but argued, as it had in the past, that political opponents “who want to see their government fail” march and Were helping to provoke a strike.
When he asked him how his administration would respond to the demands of the protesters, I would like to maintain that the main thing is to guarantee the well being of the people.
Going back to his campaign promises, he said he would ‘fight social and economic inequality, combat poverty and deal with the disintegration of families.
As violence increases in the country, the number of narcotics increases, or the incidence of the murder of women and girls killed due to their gender has also increased. In 2014 Mexican authorities reported 1,008 such murders, a jump of 10 percent from a year earlier.
The global #MeToo movement also inspired widespread support for both the march and the strike and the recent addition of Ingrid Escamilla, 25, who was killed, skinned and disembowel, and seven-year-old Fatima Cecilia Aldrighett whose body was found wrapped in a plastic bag Outraged at the killings in.
The violence prompted a national debate on gender-based violence and Mashimo’s accusatory culture of Mexico that transcended Mexico’s deeply stratified society — the general divisions of age, class, race, and politics.
Many workplaces across the country were devoid of women, and some closed schools. Photos of women and girls evacuated newsrooms, government offices, and schools circulated on social media. Even Mr. Lopez Obrador’s daily morning briefing with the press had rows of empty chairs as most female journalists boycotted it.
Biologist Isaura Miranda said that he had put a lot of thought into his decision to join the strike because of his responsibilities at the research center he works at.
Ms. Miranda said in tears, I just realized that I had to do something. “I cannot take on so many deaths with this feeling of anger and impotence that are cruel, without dignity.”
He added, “Besides, I don’t want my daughter to go out one day and never come back again.
Some of the largest companies in the country, including Walmart and Bimbo, assured women that they would not face the consequences of staying home from work. Several government officials, celebrities, and church leaders, as well as local, state, and federal government agencies, supported the action, which was promoted under the #UnDiaSinNosotras hashtag, or #ADayWithoutUs.
On Monday, several subway ticket booths, mostly run by women, were closed.
Authorities struggled to estimate how many women attended. The action could cost the economy up to $ 1.37 billion (£ 1.05 billion), if all women participated, according to Concanaco Serviteur, one of Mexico’s most significant trade groups.
Some women’s rights groups and feminist collectives have urged the government to set up a special prosecutor’s office for cases of female murder and disappearance. Others were in widespread demand, from reproductive rights to equal pay.
The feminist movement in Mexico has gained traction over the past year. It has become violent at times, with some protesters attacking police stations or spray painting slogans on government buildings.
On Sunday, a protestor threw Molotov cocktails, injuring police officers, including members of the press and women.
Subversive protests last August caught officers off guard. Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum condemned the protesters for distorting the first historical monuments. Later, facing a backlash, she met with women’s groups, created a registry of sex offenders, and passed an ordinance to punish the unauthorized sharing of sexual material with a six-year prison sentence Pushed to be.
Before the strike, Ms. Sheinbaum said that she said that about 150,000 women working for the city would not be punished for not coming into the office on Monday.
While some women celebrated the march and the strike, others remained observant of the real impact.
Artist Ms. Wolffer said, Yes, we have won big recently. “On the other hand, many of us have never been murdered. More will come from this.
And for many other women, protests remained out of their reach.
Street food vendor Juanita Hernandez, who supports her four children by working six days a week, said her husband, now deceased, used to be physically abusive. One day, he hit her so hard she broke several of her teeth, he remembered.
“When my husband died, I could finally rest from the abuse, but now I can’t afford to take a day to protest against the same violence,” she said.
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