Chiapas: Organizations and collectives pronounce themselves against the commodification and objectification of women in print

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Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas A.C.

In a public letter to the director of the General Director of the Diario of Chiapas, Gerardo Toledo Coutiño, several collectives and human-rights organizations denounced the objectification and commodification of women in the media. The specific reason for this declaration was the publication of an image of a woman who had been raped and murdered in the common land of Las Champas, Comalapa border region. The authors stressed that murders of women are not simple criminal acts but a form of specific violence against women, this being the a product of a patriarchal, sexist society. The letter stated that “discourse and images produce and feed a common imaginary about women that needs to be treated with sensitivity in order to avoid reaffirming wrong values or strengthening discrimination against and mercantilization of women […]. To inform about femicides by using images of semi-naked bodies that are terribly degrading represents a form of violence against women and girls.”

The Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas denounced this publication and similar other ones, indicating the moral obligation of the media to protect the rights of male and female citizens as well as to abide by national and international laws on women’s rights. For this reason, the group demanded that Gerardo Toledo follow up its legal request and “change the gender perspective in the police report section of the media whenever women are victims of femicide, or any other kind of violence, as well as eliminate images of semi-naked bodies or dead bodies, since these images contribute neither to freedom of expression nor to the free exercise of journalism but on the contrary only represent violence and sensationalism.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Organizaciones y Colectivos se pronuncian contra la cosificación y la objetivación de las mujeres en medio impreso (Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas, 17 de julio de 2015)

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