Argentina: Men in Skirts Protest Femicides & Domestic Violence

Photo: ANRed

Photo: ANRed

Argentina: On Thursday November 5, hundreds of men wearing skirts marched in Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata, Tucumán, Mendoza and Rosario in a campaign to warn about the growing number of femicides in the country. The slogan “Put on the skirt if you’re a man” went viral on social media under hashtag #UnomasXniunamenos (one more for not one less). The protests were sparked by the murder of trans activist, Diana Sacayán, in mid-October and a recent wave in which 9 women died, all victims of domestic violence in a single week.

According to Minister for Women, Maria Julia Rodriguez, every 36 hours a woman is killed in Argentina. Rodriguez said in 2014, 270 women were killed in Argentina, while 51,000 cases of violence against women were registered till September 2015. The platform #NiUnaMenos (Not one less woman) has been used to speak out against gender based violence in Latin America and Spain. The group #NiUnaMenos in Argentina organized a historic mobilization June 3 calling for full implementation of the law against gender violence. One of their demands was free legal aid to victims of domestic violence. That proposal was passed into law this week.

On the heels of the protests of men in skirts, The Chamber of Deputies approved proposed regulations on November 3 to form a body of professionals who will provide free legal aid to victims of gender violence.

“According to studies by the Supreme Court of the province of Buenos Aires, out of 100 complaints of domestic violence that occur, just 5 go to trial, and this imbalance is related to the lack of lawyers to respond effectively and free to move cases forward. We can not forget that violence against women has the unique feature that the perpetrator lives with the victim. If it’s enacted quickly, it can save lives,” said Sen. Juan Manuel Abal Medina, the author of the initiative which won unanimous support in both chambers.

When women break the cycle of gender violence and denounce the perpetrators, often they encounter a barrier: the cost to pay a criminal attorney to hold court proceedings. Abal Medina’s initiative seeks to create a body of lawyers who work under the aegis of the Ministry of Justice in the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Nation and ensure “access to justice in a timely and effective manner.” The idea is to provide free, responsible and skilled legal representation. Under the bill, the body will have representatives across the country that would have mandatory specialized training in the subject.

Effective access to justice is essential for ensuring the human rights of women. In 2009, the government of Argentina enacted Law No. 26,485 – called the Integral Protection, Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women. The approval and enactment of this law was in response to a decision that summarized the work of thousands of social organizations and women’s movements. The new measures passed into law on November 3 will build on the 2009 law ensuring that women can financially access the court systems intended to protect them.

As strides are being made to help victims of domestic violence access justice in the courts, men are putting on skirts and speaking out publicly against gender violence and femicides in the streets.

During Thursday’s protests, Argentine men in skirts chanted slogans like, “Hombre, escucha, únete a la lucha!” (Man, listen, join the fight!), “Men say enough to patriarchal violence”, “murderer Machismo”, “Stop femicide” and “We want them alive, free and happy.”

VIDEO: March “One more for #NiUnaMenos” men in skirts against femicide in Argentina

“Today we are all women and we are at risk. We need to disarm patriarchal logic in minds and hearts, in education and in each of our institutions. We need to give a clear message as men, targeting all of society and especially to other men: we will not tolerate the murders of women.”

“Will you put on the skirt? Ingenious protest against gender violence.”

Photo: ANRed

Photo: ANRed

Photo: ANRed

Photo: ANRed

Photo: ANRed

Photo: ANRed

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Erin Gallagher is a multimedia artist, translator and writer for Revolution News.