Femicide – By @Titouanhd

By Camila Alcaraz



What is femicide: 


The orgins of the term are not clear but it appeared for the first time in England around 1820 defined as the act of killing women. Other terms are being used to define the murder of women killed by their partners: “intimate femicide”, or “romantic femicide”.

In French “fémicide” or “féminicide” is the term for the murder of one or more women or girls because of their gender.

In Latin America it was in the 1960s that the term of “femenicido” was used for the first time. Because of the triple murder of the Mirabal sisters (Patria Mercedes, María Argentina Minerva and Antonia María Teresa), known as “Mariposas”(Butterflies) in Dominican Republic.


Femicide is a global concern, in fact in the world 1 in 3 women are victims of physical or sexual abuse. In Europe, France is the third country most affected by femicide, with 42% of women being victims of physical abuses. In first position Finland and Denmark are the most affected countries. In Africa, the most dangerous country for women is Senegal with 87% of women victims. 

According to the UN, in 2017 half of the women killed were killed by their partner or a family members.






A movement against femicide has been going on around the world. In Palestine on the day of November 6th 2019, thousands of people in twelve different cities were demonstrating to stop violence against women. In Mexico for “the day of the dead” (November 1st and 2nd) the marchers were carrying hundreds of purple crosses through the capital with the name of a woman who were murdered or had gone missing. According to the UN in Latin America 12 women are daily killed because of their gender. It is said that 98% of gender-related killings go unprosecuted. 


In France we are facing a tragic reality that is the increase of domestic violence the past few months. In fact, about 220,000 French women are victims of domestic violence each year, which lead to 127 women being killed by their partner or ex partner in 2019 (number updated in the end of October). This is already more than the 120 French women killed by their partner in the whole year of 2018. 


Among those women abused are mothers, sisters, friends and pregnant women. As stated by the French media “L’Union”, those hundreds of women leave behind around 138 children. Some of those kids have been witness to abuse and/or have found the bodies of their parents. 


In October the feminist activist group Femen held a protest in the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris to express the urgency of the situation with (at that time) 114 murdered women. Each woman was holding a protest banner in the shape of a grave with the name and the age of a woman victim of femicide in 2019. E.g “Taïna, 20 ans, 3e (3rd) feminicide”, “Michèle, 72 ans, 10e (10th) feminicide”, “Fabienne, 51 ans, 36e (36th) feminicide”. (See pictures)


Nowadays, patriarchy is a real debate in France (and in the world) and it seen as an injustice against the female gender. Hopefully, we are seing a wake-up call and a real awareness from French people (and medias, government…) to take measures and make real changes in our society.  


Beyond femicide, gender inequality in French society remains a pervasive issue. In fact, from November 5th 2019, 4:47pm to the end of 2019, women are working for free showing wage inequality. 



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