Fed up with escalating murders and disappearances of sisters, mothers and daughters, women in Mexico are fighting back. Despite two decades of mobilizing, the problem has only worsened. The fury of 80,000 women boiled over at the International Women’s Day march in Mexico City. The next day, Monday, March 9, millions of women across the country stayed home in an organized general strike. The Day Without Women campaign blames patriarchy, sexism and protection of abusers by police and government. The strike earned welcome support from male coworkers and the public.
However, Mexico’s astonishingly tone-deaf President Andrés Manuel López-Obrador (AMLO) characterized the mobilizations as a right-wing conspiracy against him. AMLO announced he would not change his policies to lend more support to the anti-femicide campaign. What a dangerous response. Instead, his administration has cut funding for women’s shelters.
Women all over Latin America and the world are joining Mexicanas in declaring “the oppressive state is a macho rapist,” to quote the Chilean feminist anthem. Demonstrators pledge to keep pushing until women’s bodies and lives are treated as things of value. This must be a paramount issue for all human rights fighters everywhere.