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”.
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
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