National: the Mexican government does not comply with the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

June 23, 2014

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Representatives of the National Network of Women Human-rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM), which is comprised of 83 non-governmental organizations, have met with Silvia Pimentel and Line Bareiro, experts of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), to address the situation of female human-rights defenders and female journalists in Mexico. At the meeting, the RNDDHM reported that the Mexican state has failed to respect the recommendations of the CEDAW. Numerous testimonies and examples of this situation were provided.

Referring to femicide, it was reported to the CEDAW experts that despite the recommendation to operationalize the Gender Violence Alert (AVG) made in 2012, the mechanism has not been implemented yet. Similarly, the recommendation to regulate crimes considered to be femicide has similarly failed to be implemented.

Other issues were also reported, such as the existing backlog in the figures and actual information on disappearances and murders of women, the lack of access for women to health services and information on sexual and reproductive health, and the increased criminalization of women who abort or have positioned themselves in favor of the right to decide on abortion.

Atiziri Avila, coordinator of RNDDHM, warned that the failure of the Mexican government to protect women has caused this responsibility to fall on female human-rights defenders, who in in turn are exposed to a climate of hostility and aggression.

The increase in violence directed against female journalists and the impunity surrounding these attacks was also noted by RNDDHM representatives. Silvia Pimentel, from the CEDAW, said that Mexico is a country that has ratified the CEDAW Convention. Therefore, it must comply with the recommendations of the Committee, “since that implies the compliance with the Convention.” She added that there exists a “patriarchal resistance to consider women as subjects of rights. “

For more information (In Spanish):

Acusan a México ante Comité de la CEDAW (Cimac, 16 de junio de 2014)

Mecanismos y noormas son insuficientes ante violencia: Llaman a México a dejar discursos y cumplir con CEDAW (Argenpress, 16 de junio de 2014)

Incrementan las agresiones contra las defensoras de derechos humanos y mujeres periodistas (Ciudadanía Express, 16 de junio de 2014)

Incrementan agresiones contra defensoras de derechos humanos y periodistas (Yancuic, 16 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Every other day a woman is killed in the state (June 12, 2014)

Oaxaca: the Mexican state with the highest number of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists (June 10, 2014)

Guerrero: Harassment and attacks on individuals and organizations in favor of the decriminalization of abortion and the right to decide (June 12, 2014)

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National: Lack of gender perspective in the protection of female human rights defenders

June 13, 2014

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The international feminist organization JASS (Just Associates) has denounced the sexist vision and absence of gender perspective in the protection of women human rights defenders. According to JASS, it’s necessary to introduce such a perspective and to take into account the specific needs of female defenders, “not because women face more or less aggressions, but because the nature of the attacks, the fact that they occur or may occur, their impacts and consequences are different from the attacks against men. Therefore they require specific and comprehensive measures”.

The prevailing patriarchal vision implies a bias in the understanding of the existing reality that deso not distinguish the gender implications of the risks, impacts and needs of a different kind of protection for female defenders. The claim is that instruments and mechanisms of protection were created according to the specific needs of men, which are taken as universal.

JASS recognizes that there have been advances in various United Nations mechanisms and institutions such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to recognize the specific risks that female defenders face. Nonetheless, it stressed that “the civil society and the mechanisms for the protection of human rights still have significant challenges. “

Currently, the Mesoamerican Initiative for Female Human Rights Defenders, a network created in 2010, is generating alternatives of comprehensive protection, including safety measures and self-care. They aim at responding to the violence that female defenders in the region face in their work. In the case of Mexico, there were some advances through national networks of defenders.

For more information (in Spanish):

Porque Importa la Perspectiva de Género en la Protección para Defensoras (JASS, 2 de junio de 2014)

México trata con doble rasero a las mujeres (Cimac noticias, 15 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

National: Suprema Corte presents protocol to judge gender crimes (September 13, 2013)


Oaxaca: the Mexican state with the highest number of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists

June 10, 2014

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The Network of Female Activists and Human Rights Defenders of Oaxaca announced that, from January 1st to date, 38 attacks on 17 defenders, three journalists, and 5 women’s organizations and/or groups have been recorded in Oaxaca. Those statistics make this the state with the highest number of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico, according to data from the Register of the National Network of Female Human Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM).

The Network is particularly concerned about the exponential increase in attacks on female journalists that was recorded during the month of May in the state of Oaxaca. It also indicates that impunity in the cases of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists contributes to increase their reproduction.

Therefore, the network asks the government to “guarantee the exercise of the right to defend human rights including the right to information and freedom of expression; the recognition of danger and specific attacks suffered by female human rights defenders and journalists; the design and immediate implementation of preventive and protective measures, in consultation with female defenders and journalists in response to their needs; the prompt investigation and punishment of those responsible for the attacks against the journalists Citlalli Lopez and Alejandra Janet Martinez, as well as in all the attacks against female HR defenders and journalists. “

For more information (in Spanish):
Oaxaca: Primer lugar en ataques a mujeres defensoras de DH y periodistas (Página 3, 23 de mayo de 2014)

Oaxaca, primer lugar en ataques a defensoras de DH y periodistas (Ciudadanía Express, 23 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ:
Oaxaca: One of the most violent and dangerous states for the exercise of journalism (May 16, 2014)