Blog, Social Justice

#NiUnaMenos & Latin American Feminism

spray paint stencil with the words "mujer en la lucha" or "women in the fight" in spanish

Content Warning – This post discusses gendered violence and murder at the hands of the patriarchy.

#NiUnaMenos (literally translated into “Not one less (woman)” ) is a fourth-wave, grassroots, feminist movement that started in Argentina in 2015 and preceded explosion of the #MeToo movement in the United States. Following in the footsteps of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo – these women are gathering to confront the shadow of gender inequality which leads to abuse and femicides that goes unresolved in Latin America and advocating for legal and safe access to abortions. According to a survey conducted about violence – of the 25 countries with the highest rates of gender-based violence, 14 of them are in Latin America and the Caribbean. Globally 66,000 women are killed annually (as of studies conducted in 2017) and it is usually a result of domestic violence escalating – so these women know their murderers.

#NiUnaMenos was founded after the brutal murder of 14-year-old Chiara Páez. She was found in the backyard of her 16-year-old murderers’ home, he beat her to death because she was pregnant and had (predictably) escaped justice. The first march occurred across Argentina in 80 cities and they demanded justice not just for Chiara, but for everyone who was suffering gender-based violence in Argentina. Thanks to the pressure put on the government by this, and other feminist movements, brought the murderer to justice in 2017 – two years after Chiara was killed.

Al Jazeera English – 30 Minute Discussion of Femicide in Mexico (2015) Worth every minute.

The movement has grown to include LGBTQ+ issues and – like I mentioned above – access to legal and safe abortions. It also has gone beyond the borders of Argentina and boasts chapters in other countries – notably in Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, and Mexico.

One of our previous books of the month was Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy and since then I’ve followed Mona on Twitter and kept abreast of the news that she brings to forefront as it relates to global feminist shenanigans and global patriarchical fuckery. When she launched her newsletter Feminist Giant I – of course – signed up and one of the first stories she featured was from Mexico about the #NiUnaMenos Collective.

Yesenia Zamudio’s daughter was murdered in Mexico in 2016. When she went to the police for help they did nothing to help her, and eventually told her that her daughter had died by suicide and essentially told her to fuck off. This video is from a gathering of the #NiUnaMenos Collective in Mexico City a year or so ago

Subtitled in English – Source El País

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to burn it down just listening to her. On September 7, 2020 the #NiUnaMenos Collective took over the Mexico City headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission and declared that the collective would be using the space as a women’s shelter where those in need could find legal support and advice from attorneys, accompany women to prosecutors offices, psychological help to deal with the trauma and anything else that they might need.

In Mexico News Daily Zamuido’s quoted as saying

“The head of this organization hasn’t met with us even for one minute,” said Zamudio. “If she can’t manage this work, [she should] resign. We demand justice.”

Activists said that if the CNDH doesn’t attend to their demands, they will call for a takeover of all its offices across the country.

“We’ll continue taking over [CNDH] premises because this [building] won’t be sufficient for so many families,” Zamudio said.

Anarcho-feminism is something I’m learning about, but I gotta say – this whole “taking things over until the government and other NGOs fulfill basic requirements necessary to have a safe life” thing is really giving me some freedom vibes. The takeover is a developing story, but it’s been reported recently that the Mexican Minister of the Interior is reported to be in talks with the collective to see what needs to happen in order for the government and NHRC to gain control of the building.

I can’t help but believe that the first demand will be that not ONE more woman dies of gender based violence. Estoy con ustedes!

Natalia Santana is a compliance professional by day, and an activist, student and parent...also by day. Interested in the intersection of activism and education, her joy in life is taking complicated concepts and distilling them into easy to understand Twitter rants. Favorite genres: science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction books.


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