Eight years since Ni Una Menos, the struggle against gender-based violence in Argentina continues

According to a recent report by the ‘Now That They See Us’ Observatory, between June 2015 and May 2023, 2,257 femicides were reported in Argentina

June 05, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Tens of thousands of women, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and queer people mobilized across Argentina on June 3 to mark eight years since the formation of the Ni Una Menos feminist movement. Photo: Emergente Medio/twitter

June 3 marked eight years since the formation of the Ni Una Menos or ‘Not One (Woman) Less’ movement in Argentina. In the wake of the brutal femicide of 14-year-old Chiara Páez by her 16-year-old boyfriend Manuel Mansilla in May 2015, a group of feminist activists, journalists, artists, and academics came together and founded a new movement to demand an end to all forms of gender-based violence in the country.

On June 3, 2015, the movement called for massive mobilizations across the country to condemn patriarchal violence and demand justice for all victims of this violence. Hundreds of thousands of women in 80 cities flooded the streets and squares to say enough is enough. In the capital Buenos Aires, around 200,000 people mobilized to express their condemnation, making it the largest march rejecting violence against women in the history of Argentina.

In the past eight years, the Ni Una Menos movement has expanded and become a collective campaign for women and gender diverse people and their social struggles. It has also spread across several Latin American countries such as Bolivia, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

Since 2015, every year, on June 3, the movement organizes massive marches in cities across Argentina to protest against femicides, transfemicides, travesticides, rapes, sexual harassment, and other forms of sexist violence as well as to demand equal socio-economic rights for women and transgender people.

Last Saturday, tens of thousands of women, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and queer people turned out for the annual Ni Una Menos march to demand more and improved public social, health, educational and judicial policies with a gender perspective.

In Buenos Aires, under the banner of “We Want To Live, Have Freedom And Be Debt-Free. With This Judiciary Not One Less Is Not Possible,” thousands of feminists, LGBTQI+ activists, left-wing political leaders, members of human rights organizations, social movements and trade unions marched from different points of the city to the Argentine National Congress. They demanded implementation of effective public policies that eradicate patriarchal violence, rejected the negative consequences of the IMF loan that affect women more, particularly the poorest, and condemned the difficulties and obstacles imposed by the judicial system in filing complaints or effective compliance with protection measures for victims of gender violence.

“Forty years after recovering democracy, we say that there is no democracy with a Judiciary that is at the service of economic power and conspiring against social and political organization, criminalizing its referents; there is no democracy with foreign debt or under the control of the IMF; there is no democracy with these levels of poverty; there is no democracy if social protest is persecuted and stigmatized!,” read the statement by the organization.

“This Justice system is not ours, and if it is not for everyone, it is not justice. That is why we demand a transfeminist, plurinational, and interdisciplinary judicial reform! We want a democratic justice system with popular participation, in which the victims are guaranteed to be heard, responses are created that hold those who commit damages accountable and make reparations to the victims,” added the statement.

Earlier in the day, the relatives of the victims of femicides and disappearances gathered in the Plaza de Mayo to demand justice for their loved ones. The parents recounted their testimonies and struggles that they have been carrying out to demand action from the State. They called on the government, the judiciary, and Congress to urgently work together to address the issue of violence.

Violence persists

Violence against women remains a major problem in Argentina. According to a recent report by the ‘Now That They See Us’ Observatory, between June 2015 and May 2023, 2,257 femicides were reported in Argentina. In other words, a woman was killed every 31 hours in these eight years. The data also showed that 64% of women were murdered by their partners or ex-partners, and 64% of these murders occurred inside the victim’s own home. In another report, the observatory informed that between January 1 and April 30, 2023, 99 femicides, 3 transfemicides and 96 attempted femicides have been registered in the country.

The data shows that patriarchal violence against women and non-binary people has not ceased to exist in eight years. Nevertheless, they are determined to continue working to eradicate gender violence in all its forms and manifestations and promote gender equality.