At International Women’s Daythis Tuesday thousands of Argentines marched through the streets of Buenos Aires to protest the “debt” that the national government maintains with women, in a country that suffers from femicide every 32 hoursdespite the policies promoted in recent years to combat sexist violence.
Under the slogan of “The debt is with us”in reference to the agreement reached between the Argentine Government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the refinancing of a loan of about 45 billion dollars, thousands of demonstrators occupied the center of the Argentine capital, amid music and protest proclamations.
In statements, the national spokeswoman for the Women of the Latin American Motherland (Mumala) movement, Victoria Aguirre, called on this March 8 for the implementation of “consistent, active, effective and sustained over time” public policies to “brake” that spiral of violence.
“The most pending debt that the national government has is with us and with the public policies that are missing, because femicides and trans-transvesticides do not stop and violence is very intensified”Aguirre asserted.
The Government, under the magnifying glass
One of the central points of the demonstration was the recent agreement between the Argentine government and the “staff” of the IMFwhich still requires the approval of the Chamber of Deputies for its entry into force.
For Mumala’s national spokesperson, this understanding will entail cuts in the budget items dedicated to gender and diversity, in addition to an increase in fees that will impact the well-being of the most vulnerable women.
“All this deepens what for a few years we began to call the feminization of poverty in Argentina (…). We have a very high percentage of households that are single mothers, the head of the household is the only contributor and in this context all of that is intensifying,” lamented Aguirre.
Beyond that agreement and its economic effects, the true focus of the protests was once again the sexist violence that is going through the country: in the first two months of the year there were a total of 43 femicides and trans-transvesticides in Argentina, which is equivalent to to one death every 32 hours, according to Mumala figures.
In this context, Aguirre called for the urgent implementation of several measures, such as effective compliance with the Comprehensive Sex Education Law, the creation of a national registry of victims or the implementation of a “comprehensive” system to deal with complaints.
“There is no communication between the different ministries or jurisdictions in taking the first complaints. This means that the person is the only one who has to protect his life; as a person who suffers violence, he also has to ensure that they do not kill him “, he pointed.
Abortion Law Surveillance
After almost a century of prohibitions, Argentina sanctioned the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy Law (IVE) at the end of 2020: with this legal framework, more than 25,000 abortions were performed in the first half of last year, according to the ‘Mirar project’ , an observatory promoted by the Center for State and Society Studies.
However, in the opinion of Mumala’s spokeswoman, the law still faces several obstacles to its final implementation, due to the obstacles of some health entities and the pressure exerted by the Catholic Church.
“It’s a constant struggle. We, us, it seems that we are never satisfied, but because we know that, unfortunately, we never have our rights consecrated,” Aguirre said. For all these reasons, feminist and social organizations in Argentina do not face this March 8 as a day of celebration, but as a day of protest and remembrance for “all the fighters who have put their bodies so that women have rights.”