Reflection in the framework of International Women’s Day

By: Mtra. Alicia Arelly Chávez Nieto

In the framework of the commemoration of International Women’s Day, there is a background of important reflections as a society. To achieve this, it is important to remember the birth of the struggle. It was on February 28, 1909 when the Socialist Party of the United States of America designated this day in honor of the New York textile workers who in 1908 protested due to their precarious working conditions.

Over the years the movement was gaining strength throughout the world seeking equal rights, as well as to achieve universal suffrage for women. It was until the end of the Second World War, when on March 8 it began to be celebrated in several countries and, in December 1977 the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization resolved that a United Nations Day for Human Rights was proclaimed. of Women and International Peace. It is also important to talk about the violence that is triggered by unequal rights. Violence against women dates from the first civilizations of the world, in the history of the civilized world, there is no evidence of a society where systematic violence against women has not existed.

Historically, women have been seen as an object of possession and where their value is found in their marital, sentimental, sexual, fertility and physical characteristics above their work and intellectual capacities.

To understand in more detail the way in which this violence has developed throughout history, it is important to understand the concept of possession,

“Possession continues to be one of the arguments for violence against women, whether it originates from the idea of carnal possession-sexual violence, sentimental possession-harassment and love violence, psychological possession and control-psychological violence, administrative and citizen possession. -administrative and state violence, reproductive possession- sexual violence, kidnapping and forced marriage and as non-possession of a person’s life-factual violence, murder”

In all these possessions we find the reflection of the classic division towards bodies as an object of male power: “bodies for procreation, bodies for desire.”

Mexico is no exception, there is evidence of violence against women throughout our history. We have a large number of women who have been silenced, persecuted, violated, imprisoned, executed, in addition to belittling and minimizing their flavor and their contribution to our own history as a nation.

Currently, violence against women in Mexico is alarming. For this reason, INEGI carries out the National Survey on the dynamics of relationships in Homes whose main objective is to generate information on the experiences of violence that women aged 15 years and over have faced, in order to support the design and monitoring of public policies aimed at addressing and eradicating gender-based violence against women.

Next, we will review some data from the last update of this survey:

  • Seven out of ten women have suffered at least one incident of violence in their lifetime.
  • Four out of ten women have suffered sexual violence in their lifetime.
  • Five out of ten women have been humiliated, watched, locked up or had their belongings destroyed. They have been threatened with the abandonment or suicide of their partner, with running them out of their home, taking their children from them, hurting them or killing them.
  • Three out of ten have had their partner complained about their expenses, prohibited them from working or studying, or taken money or property from them.
  • 4.4 million women over 15 years of age suffered sexual abuse during their childhood.

These figures are disturbing, but it is important to know them to reflect on it, but, above all, to take action to move towards a more equitable society, in which violence against women is eradicated.

There are many initiatives and there is a long way to go in this fight, thanks to which women can vote, study a career, practice any profession, among others, however, the road is still long and it is important that we continue working to achieve it.

Although we still have a long way to go to achieve the balance we seek, it is important to note that we also have examples of industrial sectors and companies in particular that are one step ahead and actively working to achieve equity in their operation as ACSI Research, led and made up mostly by women in 72.5% and in which great importance is given to the intellectual and professional value of its collaborators and facilities are provided for those who are mothers of families to continue growing in their career. They are successful models that deserve to be reviewed and recognized. It is very valuable to know their history and the work they have done since their birth.

In our current context, it is essential to analyze how the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the life of this sector and the performance in society in many ways. Regarding the framework of this reflection, women have encountered great challenges within the global crisis that we are experiencing, the loss of work, the increase in the unpaid care burden, domestic exploitation, among others.

Women are also on the front lines of responding to the pandemic, in hospitals, productive life, communities and families. They are among the leaders who have maintained the lowest incidence rates and countries in recovery.

It is proven that women leaders and women’s organizations possess great skills, knowledge and networks to efficiently lead the reaction and recovery efforts in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time in history we accept more than ever that women bring important experience, judgment, vision and skills that contribute vitally to decisions, legislation and public policy that works best for each and everyone.

That is why it is so important that we highlight the value of the roles that women play in the productive, business, political, family and community sectors, but above all that we give more and more voices that integrate the perspective of women and girls in all their plurality, at the time of promoting programs and public policies in all spheres and sectors for the recovery from a pandemic and looking a little more in the future, the construction of a better society.