March in Oaxaca. Photo @Subversiones
Marches against violence against women and femicide took place during the weekend of 12-13 October in Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca state, and in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas.
The march in San Cristóbal, included within a “Campaign against violence against women and femicide in Chiapas,” had as its objective to show the relationship which exists between the violence exercised against women and the prevailing patriarchal-capitalist system, which has in fact been strengthened by the neoliberal policies imposed by the federal government in the country.
In a communique released for the occasion, there is indicated that the structural reforms promoted by the government worsen poverty for the majority of families, women, and men of the country. The economic crisis modifies the patriarchal model of the man as provider and chief of the family, thus implying a crisis in the traditional gender and power relations which leads to an increase in violence on the part of men against women as a means of maintaining traditional relations of power and subordination. The synergization of the structural factors which incentivize violence, the construction of new forms of personal relations, and the demand on the State to govern for all the people (rather than a small group of large firms) and to guarantee the right to life and the rights of women are all important means by which to eradicate violence against women and femicide, notes the communique.
In Oaxaca dozens of women marched through the center of the city, this being the main action carried out by the collective “Radical Antipatriarchal Action.”
“We have decided to organize ourselves, being women of different sectors, ages, and places of origin, but we all share this common lack of conformity, anger, and rage toward the violence we experience,” noted members of the women’s collective.
“Radical Antipatriarchal Action” seeks to demonstrate all types of violence which are exercised against women, whether they be physical, psychological, symbolic, economic, structural, or what have you, and they propose self-defense and autonomy as means of changing the situation of subjugation, oppression, and violence which they suffer: “Solely through ourselves will we be able to create change, only through ourselves will we exit and raise our voices to be heard [...]. In light of this all, we say ‘basta,’ we rebel, and we decide to organize ourselves outside of institutions like political parties, NGOs, and governmental agencies, given that these in their majority reproduce the same logic of the patriarchal system which oppresses us. We believe in our own capacity to act collectively.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Comunicado 12 de Octubre: Campaña contra la violencia hacia las mujeres y el feminicidio en Chiapas (Observatorio Frontera Sur de México, 12 de octubre de 2013)
Mujeres conforman frente “anti-patriarcal” contra violencia feminicida en Oaxaca (NSS Oaxaca, 13 de octubre de 2013)
Oaxaca: “¡No somos pobres mujeres, sino mujeres fuertes, que no se conforman, no callan y luchan!” (Subversiones, octubre de 2013)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Careful, patriarchy kills! Presentation of the “Campaign against violence against women and femicide in Chiapas” (3 October 2013)
Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)
Chiapas: Increase in feminicide and State Accord for Gender Equality (22 April 2013)
Chiapas: Colem Group of Women take action against feminicide (19 October 2012)