Femicide: What Can We Do?

Davis, L. (2010). Violations of Women’s Human Rights in Guatemala. New York: Barcenas Women’s Working Committee.

This article begins with background information regarding femicide in Guatemala and leads to proposed solutions to these pressing issues. Davis and colleges go into great detail of how the civil war damaged the family structure and community of Guatemalan culture by bringing out all the rage and hatred of the citizens. Starting at the beginning of the war, sexual violence was used as a war tool to torture women prior to their murders.

Now that such instances are no longer secrets, we are obligated protect these victims. During a Human Rights Committee review of Guatemala in 2001 it was stated that there was a grave concern for their human rights.

In 2008, the Act on Femicide and Other Forms of Violence Against Women was put into place in order to address this violence. This made femicide a punishable crime for the first time in Guatemala. However, these efforts will go to waste if the Guatemalan government will not act as enforcers. As of 2010 the State did not adhere to these standards which resulted in perpetrators committing crimes with impunity.

Davis and colleges make the following recommendations:

-Start a fully funded institution to address corruption, official immunity for the purposes of strengthening law enforcement.

-Proper training of law enforcement needs to become a priority.

-Women’s homes should become available as an alternative shelter to those in need.

-Ultimately holding the Guatemalan government to their laws. If they’re not enforced there should be some type of consequence.

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