Responding to Mexico’s National Emergency: Femicides and Gender-Based Violence

Our girls from Casa Hogar Alegría in Toluca, México
Our girls from Casa Hogar Alegría in Toluca, México

For many nations across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread inequality, as social and economic disparities have widened to reveal fault lines in public policy and social structures.

Mexican women carrying a banner that states '#NationalEmergency for #Femicides' in Mexico City [Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP]

Mexico for example, is facing another pervasive epidemic that is rocking the nation– the rise of gender-based violence. According to a report by the Secretariat of Security and Civilian protection, over 3,752 women were killed in 2020 alone. While only 969 were classified as femicides, the number of gender-based violence during the first half of 2020 is considered the most violent in the last 30 years. Mexico has the second-highest number of femicides in the region of Latin America, and demonstrators around the nation have publicly decried the culture of machismo and the government’s tepid response and protective measures for women.

Violence against women is a human rights violation. The immediate and long-term effects of physical, sexual, mental and emotional consequences for girls and women is not only devastating, it can also be deadly. Girls and women deserve to feel safe and secure, and public policy in Mexico needs to be reformed to ensure the protection of women and girls, as well as the prevention of violence against women. While numerous strategies have been proposed by Mexican civil society groups, international organization and the United Nations, the current administration must act promptly to protect and preserve the lives of girls and women nationwide.

While our mission is to provide children with a safe and loving environment to live, learn and play, we also invest in educational programming that empowers children and adolescents to become independent and empowered leaders in society, including our girls.

We have two projects in Mexico in association with Fundación Casa Hogar Alegria (CHA). Through two campuses located in Guadalajara and Toluca, CHA provides a comprehensive framework for orphaned girls who face socio-economic barriers, a lack of parental care and other impediments that interfere with their ability to become happy and healthy adolescents. The CHA community provides refuge for these girls, many of whom have faced, or come from homes that were affected by gender-based violence. Protecting young girls and informing them of their rights through programming and workshops allows them to better navigate their lives, exercise their rights and become empowered leaders in their communities.

Eliminating instances of femicides and gender-based violence in Latin America and Mexico requires socio-political intervention and systemic change. While we continue to fight for the rights of children and women throughout Latin America, we will continue to provide them with the proper resources and tools that empower our girls and keep them happy, safe and protected.

Learn more about our projects in Mexico by visiting our website. Don’t forget to also follow us on social media, along with Casa Hogar Alegria, to stay up to date with ongoing initiatives and campaigns that you can support.