Women in Peru are cladded in feminism.

Enmita Marin
Posted August 4, 2017 from Peru
#NiUnaMenos
I want to walk quietly on the street without being harrased. I want to walk with #NoFear #12A Let´s march together #NoOneLess

Peru is the third country in Latin America when it comes to measuring the femicide ratio. According to the numbers gathered by the Ministry of the Woman, a total of 8 sexual assaults per day are reported, and 1 femicide attempt per day. From January to May 2017, 45 cases of femicide have been reported, and close to 105 attempts to commit this crime across the whole country. These are the known numbers, the instances in which women have denounced the act, only the tip of the huge iceberg of violence against women that exists in Peru: in here, the phrase “THEY ARE KILLING US” goes deep.

On July 28th, a new Minister for the Ministry of the Woman was appointed, and she said some controversial declarations to the media, such as: “Peru does not need feminism”, “that she believes in the equality of opportunities, but not in feminism”.

What the hell? According to the Oxford English Dictionary – and many feminist organisations as well – the definition of feminism is: the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. And, in a country where you can see the statistics already mentioned, it cannot be said that we do not need feminism. We need it, and the doses needed are gargantuan!

Women all over the country made themselves felt on Monday July 31st on a social network movement (Twitter) called #Tuitazo (which could be roughly translated as “huge tweet”), and making use of the hashtag #MinisterFeminismIs, they gave our new Minister a lecture about feminism. In a few hours, we became a trend; and besides angering some people and receiving some chauvinist comments (i.e.: “what are you doing in social networks, you should be in the kitchen!”), we also engendered union, inspiration, sisterly support and mediatic attention. The next day, Minister Choquehuanca spoke to the media saying: “the fight of all Peruvian women is my fight”.

(Clic here to see some tweets)

But no, we’re not done.

A year ago, we marched to make people aware of the existence of gender-based violence, femicides and the lack of policies encouraging the equality of opportunities. The press and the media had not yet finished covering the impact and scope of the #Tuitazo #MinisterFeminismIs, when a new march was announced through several social networks, a march that would serve as a remembrance of last year’s march, a march to say: “WE’RE STILL HERE, PRESENT AND STILL AWAITING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICIES AIMED AT PROVIDING EQUALITY, AND WE WANT JUSTICE BROUGHT AGAINST ALL THOSE WHO ASSAULTED US”.

The tide is restless in many social networks. I belong in two social network groups: one conformed by feminists, and the other conformed by feminist women who are also mothers. My Facebook notification count was usually 4 to 5 per day; now it’s gone up to 45 notifications per day (this past week). Something big is brewing. We’re requesting the support of designers, artists, social voices and broadcast media.

Today, August the 3rd, a new #Tuitazo is happening, with the hashtag #NiUnaMenos (which could be translated as “not even one more woman less”), where many women are sharing what is driving them to march this year, and the reasons are impressive. Some will march for the feminist ideal, some will march demanding justice, some will march against pederasty, some will march against the disgusting street harassment, and a considerable number of women will march asking “what ever happened to our sisters?” Solsiret, Shirley and Esthefanny, women who had gone missing months ago (Solsiret, a mother and an activist, has been missing for the last 11 months).

I feel strengthened, I could say I’m feeling the anger felt by hundreds and thousands of women due to the injustices inflicted upon us in my country, I feel their sorrow, their angst, and make them mine; I’ve become an ANGRY FEMINIST (for the time being at least), I too want to know where my sisters are, I too want people to stop throwing obscene epithets at me when I walk down the street, I too want justice, I too want pederasty to end (right now, not tomorrow, right now!)

Women in my country are reacting roaringly. Suddenly, it is more common to see a woman who has been harassed or assaulted, denouncing the act in social media (the victim’s feelings of shame before society are now a thing of the past). When this kind of acts are made public, hundreds of women support the victim, share the publication, get outraged, provide counselling and a virtual comforting shoulder, and we all unite against that one who dared hurting one of our sisters (a total stranger who only had contacted us through social networks).

Women in my country have gradually awakened, but this last month I can feel their angry energy, their search for justice. We are marching again on August 13th in Lima, and most likely we will be more numerous than last year, and we’ll make history again. But, more importantly, we’ll be together, walking, screaming and demanding our long-craved equality and justice, and no one will be able to shut us up.

This is the moment in which no one can be prouder of being a woman than we are.

(All the coordinations and also the iniciative is being taked by Facebook Group Las Respondonas and PARO INTERNACIONAL DE MUJERES).

How to Get Involved

Please share the post, and the pictures, You can contact trough facebook with PARO INTERNACIONAL DE MUJERES and see all the news about this. 

This story was submitted in response to Share On Any Topic.

Comments 7

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Tamarack Verrall
Aug 05, 2017
Aug 05, 2017

Dear Enmita,

This is the news that matters. This is the news I crave to know, in its worst and best, and you have outlined so well both. I have wondered how you all are in your country after celebrating with you the tremendous turnout into the streets last year. Now you have made the new government appointed Minister of Women state more clearly that she has work to do standing with the women in this position she has been given. It is so good to read that the rightful anger of women in your country is still so strong and ready to boil over again. The success of the twitter campaigns is so inspiring. The readiness to go back into the streets is so hopeful. Your defence of the word feminist is so needed. Women gain acceptance by men by denouncing that word, and it pains me to hear the excuses and belittlement of the actions of those of us who have worked to insist that violence against women, inequalities and various forms of suppression, be visible and heard. The word feminist in my country has been maligned as well, women so often saying "I'm not a feminist, but..." We began to be attacked when we spoke out against violence, just as you all are there. I am so encouraged reading your report here and hope above all that you all remain safe and that your continued actions bring change. It is this, the end of violence against women and girls, that we are here to make happen together, and it is through World Pulse and finding ways to amplify and support each other that I see the path forward. I will be watching for news, and calling on sisters in my country to step forward in whatever ways we can be of support.

With love in sisterhood,

Tam

Enmita Marin
Aug 07, 2017
Aug 07, 2017

Dear Tam 

I always feel supported by you, is like having a sister give me cheers.  Feminism is taking as a bad word, maybe because everybody use it to calls us as offensive to men or take us as "feminazi" term. But as i explain to Masalien´s the social networks help to spread news about feminicides, sexual violations, child abuse, and other horrible things, and with this masive difusion, Peruvian women can see beyond their home and family, and they get angry. It is been marvelous discuss with women about abortion, about consent, about matherhood choice (women who i doesn´t know personaly) and these discusion are make me feel my brain wide in new ideas and feel their angryness.  Maybe we believe in different principes (for example: my best friend it not agree with abortion), but we want to walk freely and secure in our own community and neighborhood. I will be posting about the march. I also create a facebook page for me, with a different name, to protect my individuality (Not That Pinky Facebook) and since this page i talk about women in history, motherhood problems, and woman´s health, and of course i share denounces of others peruvian sisters about harrassment. Thanks, once again, for your words and courage!   

Sally maforchi Mboumien
Aug 06, 2017
Aug 06, 2017

Dear Enmita

I feel very proud of you and women of Peru for your steadfastness in rewriting the literature about women within your community. How do you succeed to get the grassroot women to join in the online fight too? Congrats because the marching strategy accommodates everybody

Enmita Marin
Aug 07, 2017
Aug 07, 2017

Dear Masalien´s 

To make women involve in the fight is being a process, like Tam said: "Feminism" is a "bad word", and women always said that they believe in their rights but no  in feminism. Trough the last year, since the first march in 2016, women are waking up, the social media are important. Let me tell you some fact that i have seen: 

- Women share more and more frecuently news about abuse, about sexual harrasment, and about health policits for women. Not only news about Perú, also news of latin america and Europe. They share in Facebook, Twitter and others, and people talk about it. Women are creating visibility about these issues.  - Some activist group have created "closed groups" in Facebook. For example the organization "Paro Internacional de Mujeres - Perú" create the group call "Las respondonas" (women who respond to men) and these group they publish stories, news, anecdotes about feminism, maternity, sexual harrasment. Even, and more importante, the member can publish denounces (Like pictures of men harrasment women or girls in streets, or screen shoots of male chauvisnism in social media, or publications of men taking avantage of women) and ask that other members (freely) support their denounce and "report the news or publication for infringe Facebook norms). Some time we are so numerous, that we made the Facebook erase the publication or the social page.  - In these groups women talk openly about sexuality, work, children, abortion, and sometimes all the member (6000 righ now) are not according to each other but the controversy and the talk make them think about issues that they didn´t think or talk before. 

- Is trough these groups that the march and activism can organizate, in a "friendship" way can freely flow. 

I think that Peruvian women are angry, and this feeling make us forget our differences and join efforts to claim for justice. 

Sally maforchi Mboumien
Aug 07, 2017
Aug 07, 2017

My sister I wish you the best. No woman should be marginalised

Enmita Marin
Sep 27, 2017
Sep 27, 2017

Masalien's!!! I remember that your story (when I read time ago) was one of the most inspiring to me! 

Thanks for your words sisters! Minds a lot for me! I will search you on you Facebook Page. All the best for you. 

Love arundhati
Nov 05, 2017
Nov 05, 2017

thank you for sharing this with me.