The Gender Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean (GEO) of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said in a recent report that at least 2,795 women were victims of femicide in 2017 in 23 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Out of every 10 femicides, four had been committed in Brazil, totaling the number of victims at 1,133 in 2017. When the rate of femicide is counted per 100,000 women, El Salvador ranks the highest with 10.2 femicides. High rates have been seen in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Bolivia. The only countries with rates below 1.0 were Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
“Femicide is the most extreme expression of violence against women. Neither the criminal classification of this offense nor the efforts to make it statistically visible have been enough to eradicate this scourge that alarms and horrifies us on a daily basis,” said Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary.
In the Caribbean, there were 35 femicide victims from four countries in 2017, namely, Belize (9 victims), the British Virgin Islands (1), Saint Lucia (4) and Trinidad and Tobago (21). Guyana and Jamaica, which only have data on intimate femicide, reported the deaths of, respectively, 34 and 15 women at the hands of their partner or former intimate partner in 2017. According to the reports, in most countries, femicides are committed by someone with whom the victim had an intimate relationship.
According to ECLAC, the way to address this issue is to understand the intersectionality of sex, economic status, age, race, culture, and religion. While making public policies to eradicate violence, the policymakers should understand how various dynamics affect the women and the varied ways of violence against them manifests.