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Thursday, October 06, 2022 

Mexican women form social media groups to combat femicide

An interesting recent report about women in Mexico who're working on a social media project to battle the terrifying crisis of femicide:
In response to Mexico’s long-standing problems with femicide and forced disappearances, Camila, a student in Mexico City, joined dozens of her university classmates to form a Facebook group dedicated to tracking each other’s locations via WhatsApp. When women go on a date, to a bar, or get into a cab alone, they make a request to be tracked on the social media site. Typically, five members of the group volunteer to observe the peer asking to be tracked, who sends additional information about the people she’s with and her destination. Those following her send check-in messages and will call if the location appears frozen.

Amid Mexico’s broader insecurity crisis, femicide and gender violence have increased dramatically. Last year was the worst since official government record began in 2015, with 1,004 women murdered for reasons specifically related to their gender. This number is likely underreported, as some states do not record data on the crime, and impunity deters some family members from reporting it.

“In other countries, the primary demand might be equal pay or something,” Camila said to Rest of World. “And we have that, too. But here, our main demand is not to get killed.”

Rest of World spoke to five other members from different Facebook groups: two from universities and three for women from the general public. Though from different walks of life, their shared experiences with harassment and insecurity across Mexico drove them to form or join these groups. “Social media has been a game changer because it has allowed for preemptive measures against insecurity,” Karen Demerutis, a professor and security expert at a Mexico City campus of Tecnológico de Monterrey Institute, told Rest of World. “The reasons [women] created them is because they realized that raising their voices as a collective rather than individually had a much bigger impact.” However, the effectiveness of these groups beyond solidarity and a veneer of protection is far from confirmed.
Read more at the news site. As I'd once noted before, many years ago, I knew a most repulsive man from Monterry who turned out to be very racist and sexist, not to mention vulgar. He also had lenient views on sexual violence. Men like him are part and parcel of the terrible problem these poor women have wound up suffering for in Mexico.

I've got a feeling that, only if Mexican president Andre Obrador is voted out and a candidate with a better platform voted in, will it be possible to improve the terrible situation currently prevalent in Mexico. Hopefully, a better politician will come along. Another important element for improvement is to teach men to defend women's honor and dignity, as Ruthie Blum once pointed out. In addition to that, authorities cannot be permitted to prosecute people who defend innocents from violent crime, as has been a chilling situation in parts of Europe.

It's to be hoped that the social media groups being formed in Mexico will be the start of an avail to solve the crisis of femicide. But it's sadly clear there's a long way to go before a country tragically riddled with violent crime can improve.

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