Femicides Define This Summer

South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and Italy. These are the counties that made the news this summer regarding the widespread violence and murder of women.

Outraged women have taken to the streets to protest the culture of toxic masculinity which is responsible for the many fatalities seen as of late. The number of femicides this summer has increased and those in power have done very little to address this wave of terror.

The month of August was South Africa’s deadliest month with more than 30 women killed. Protestors of more than 250 towns across Spain have declared a “feminist emergency” after 19 murders and a string of high-profile rapes defined the summer of 2019. Turkey has seen 300 women murdered this year alone and Italy’s femicides lead to politicians passing a domestic and gender-based violence law this summer. Between 2006 and 2016, femicide occurred every two days.

Politicians in Italy who opposed the bill, which gives harsher penalties to perpetrators, say the law doesn’t go far enough. In a blog post, members of the Democratic Party who opposed the law articulated one of the best definitions of gender-based violence I’ve ever seen.

“Gender-based violence is a structural phenomenon which shows no sign of diminishing, which has its roots in a deep and persistent disparity of power between men and women in the patriarchal organization of society. It is a complex and in the end a cultural issue.”

I understand the Democratic Party’s frustration but while this law may not go far enough in terms of protecting women and punishing the perpetrators, they have to start somewhere. Laws can always be amended and improved upon.

And they are right. This is a complex and cultural issue. Until we hold men accountable for their actions, until laws against violence against women are enforced, and until we teach and encourage boys, young men and older to treat women as equals, not as a lesser sex, not as bodies their entitled to, not as people who’s attention they're entitled to, but as people who should receive the same respect they expect and call out men in their circle who are crossing boundaries when the shouldn’t, until those things take place within societies on an international scale, horrific acts of violence against women will remain.

To learn more about Femicides in the countries listed above, click on the links below.

South African Women Protest Violence Against Women

Women in Spain Protest Increase of Femicides

Turkish Women Demand End to Violence as 300 Women Killed This Year

Italy Politicians Pass Domestic Violence Law