Violence against women: Mexico’s unsolved problem made worse by AMLO's comments
Recent macho statements by Mexico's president show that violence against women is another problematic situation that has been avoided for years in the country.
“Feminism wants to change women's traditional role,” said Andrés Manuel López Obrador, during the inauguration of a hospital for maternal health in Texcoco.
The president’s declarations were a surprise since the main objective of the feminist movement in Mexico is to make visible the gender violence that exists in the country.
According to the alarming statistics presented by the Human Rights National Commission (CNDH), in Mexico, “in the first quarter of 2020, an average of 11 women were murdered each day.”
The purpose of AMLO’s discourse is to hide the reality of the situation by shifting the attention towards other matters.
A tactic he also used a couple of months ago, when he decided to raffle off the presidential airplane on women’s day, the same day the national strike #UnDíaSinMujeres (#ADayWithoutWomen) was taking place.
As has happened over two years of his presidential term, AMLO has not ceased to contradict himself. He’s become everything he said he was going to eradicate and fight against during his presidential campaign.
AMLO’s declarations in the last couple of months, as well as the initiatives against gender violence, are attempts to cover the magnitude of the problem that exists in the country and has grown exponentially from several years ago.
According to the data presented by El Economista, in Mexico, femicide and violence against women have tripled over the last decade, with two in three women under 15 years-old having suffered some kind of gender violence.
According to the president’s declaration: “Mexico’s tradition is that daughters are the ones who take care of their fathers.”
In highlighting that “tradition” in Mexico, which states daughters' jobs are to stay home looking out for their parents, AMLO is normalizing customs that have been tried to be eliminated for decades.
Another example of how he’s avoided his presidential duties is clear when he states that, “family is the most important social institution in Mexico.” This, he says, in place of public policies against an issue that has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One in 200 women has suffered some kind of domestic violence since the beginning of the pandemic, a time when people were asked by the government to stay home.
As stated in Animal Político: “fear, anxiety, economic stress, and confinement in houses can be some of the violence triggers.”
In an attempt to overcome this issue, the government introduced a failed campaign, “Count up to 10” (Cuenta Hasta 10), which encouraged aggressors to take a few seconds to mediate the violent actions.
The lightness of the campaign was pointed out by the CNDH, as these initiatives only minimized the problem of violence against women in Mexico without taking into account the context of the current situation.