In a confined Argentina, fear of an explosion of violence against women

A woman applauds at her window in support of doctors during the Covid-19 crisis on March 29 in Buenos Aires.
A woman applauds at her window in support of doctors during the Covid-19 crisis on March 29 in Buenos Aires. AGUSTIN MARCARIAN / REUTERS


It is 6:01 p.m. in Palermo, a wealthy neighborhood in Buenos Aires. A woman steps out onto her balcony and starts hitting a pan with a wooden spoon, breaking the silence of a dreary afternoon in a capital that has been confined for ten days. Another joined her, a few balconies away, then another, standing in a pretty tree-lined patio.

"Ni una menos!" ", shouts a powerful voice in the distance. "Not one less", in Spanish ; in other words: not one more woman killed by macho violence, an echo of the feminist movement of the same name born in 2015 in Argentina and which quickly spread to the rest of Latin America.

Read also Argentines, spearhead of South American feminism

This Monday, March 30, several feminist associations had called on residents to participate in this "Ruidazo", concert of saucepans against violence against women.

According to the Ahora Gender Violence Observatory, if our Fri (Now you see us), at least six women and girls have been found dead since the start of nationwide compulsory confinement on March 20. In the first three months of the year, 86 feminicides were committed in Argentina. Associations fear that this figure will explode, while many victims of violence are currently locked up with their attacker.

"Forties yes, violence no!" " With this message, written on placards and published on social networks, many Argentines draw attention to the multiplication of risks for victims of macho violence during confinement. The recent femicide committed in the country, widely reported in the local press, deeply shocked Argentines, like the double murder of a woman and her 7-year-old daughter, stabbed by the mother's companion, in the suburbs from Buenos Aires, shortly after the containment began.

Women, the first victims of the crisis

Originally scheduled until March 31, the mandatory containment of the population of Argentina – 44 million – has been extended until April 13. The country does not yet have many patients affected by the Covid-19 epidemic in comparison with those of the Old Continent – 1,265 cases confirmed as of April 2, including 36 fatal – but its president, Alberto Fernandez, in power since December 2019, has implemented drastic measures to curb the epidemic.

In a country which has been going through a serious crisis since 2018 and which has nearly 40% of the poor, the coronavirus risks further weakening an already bad economy.


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