BUENOS AIRES – Several hundred women staged an urban protest Friday in the streets of Buenos Aires against macho violence and murders, while telling the Argentine government that this problem only gets worse in contexts of poverty and government budget cuts for social programs.
Called by the Evita Movement organization for the early hours of the day, the demonstration blocked some of the main streets of the capital near the Argentine Congress.
Many participants showed up wearing skull masks or black masks to recall that, so far this year, one woman has died in Argentina every 18 hours.
Others wore white T-shirts with blood-red stains and with makeup imitating bruises from blows to the face. They also carried signs with phrases like “My life is worth 7 pesos (44 cents) to the government,” a reference to the amount the government budgets to combat gender violence.
Waving over the demonstrators – who made a brief march to the doors of the National Council of Women – was a large banner with their slogan of the day: “If there is violence, there is protest. If there is no justice, there is protest.”
“We’re in the process of changing things, but this is a macho society,” said Adela Segarra, lawmaker and member of the Women’s Front of the Evita Movement, who believes the government’s budget for combating violence and promoting gender equality is “insufficient” and that any government policy should be based on “participation of the people.”
In 2016, according to organizations that defend women’s rights, Argentina had one femicide every 30 hours, but now the Evita Movement reports that so far in 2017 there have been 58 women killed – or one every 18 hours.
The Peronist social organization blames the increase on the increase in unemployment, inequality and poverty, spurred by the budget-tightening policies of President Mauricio Macri.
“We know that we women are the people most harmed by these budget cuts,” Susana Diaz, another of the protesters, said in a statement to EFE.
“The greater the poverty and the more drastic the budget cuts, that much higher will be the rates of violence and particularly of domestic violence,” Segarra said in support of Diaz’s comment.
The demonstrators noted that problems like poverty affect women more than anyone, because they suffer the most unemployment, the lowest salaries and have to face many more difficulties in getting promoted to a good job.
“The first policies we need have to do with employment, because without economic independence we will never put an end to gender violence,” Daiana Anadon, also of the Evita Movement, told EFE.
The demonstration was also organized to call on females to take part in the international women’s strike called for next March 8.