Femicide

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Photo © Christina Hein
Femicide
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Our aim

The FEMICIDE team’s work is aimed at raising awareness about and promoting exchange on the topic of femicide, the killing of women because they are women, within the UN framework.

Our work

Since 2012 the FEMICIDE team, which is wholeheartedly dedicated to ending all forms of violence against women, has called for global action, to end the killing of women because they are women, shown what has been done and what has to be done to improve the safety of women in conflict and in flight, made people aware of the abuse and femicide of older women, tackled the issue of contemporary forms of enslavement of women and girls, attracted attention to state responsibility with regard to femicide, and urged the establishment of a Femicide Watch in every country.

Sadly, there are still many forms of violence against women and so many manifestations of femicide needing to be addressed.

Through by now 12 volumes of the FEMICIDE publication and numerous events on the topic concerned the FEMICIDE team has raised awareness about heinous unprosecuted crimes, which for many years have been silently witnessed by UN Member States, and will not end their work until violence against women and femicide has been eradicated. A long fight lies ahead of us; however, we are full of hope.

Seeing early volumes of FEMICIDE and the outcomes of our FEMICIDE events being used as important resources by delegates in negotiating and adopting the first resolution on gender-related killings by the General Assembly in 2013 confirmed the relevance of our work. A second resolution followed in 2015.

Our means

To serve this purpose, the FEMICIDE team uses the FEMICIDE publication series, the Femicide Watch Online Platform and the FEMICIDE events.

Recent Activities

Activities

: Deadline for submissions extended: FEMICIDE Volume XIV: Femicide in the History and Presence of Pandemics

For the fourteenth Volume of the Femicide Publication, we are calling for submissions addressing Femicide in the History and Presence of Pandemics.

: Why Collecting Data on Femicide Matters

Why collecting data on femicide matters? In collaboration with UNODC and SAGE (Students Advocating for Gender Equality),  UNSA Vienna is hosting, on December 8, an online event to talk about the paramount importance that data collection on femicide has. On this occasion, the Volume XIII of the UNSA Vienna FEMICIDE Collection “Collecting Data on Femicide” will be introduced.  

: FEMICIDE Volume XIII is out now!

On the occasion of the "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls" we are honored to present to you FEMICIDE Volume XIII on "Collecting Data on Femicide".

Preface

This paper questions the relationship between datasets on fem(in)icide and highlights the complexities of rendering it comparable across time and spaces. Theoretically, it contributes to the sociology of knowledge as it offers a reflexive critique of the practices that create objectified forms of knowledge. Knowledge is conceived not just as an ‘abstract social “construct” [but], specifically a social product, generated by and embodied in particular forms of work’ (Connell et al. 2017: 24). The role of numbers in the shape of data, statistics or indicators are understood as ‘part and parcel’ of the object of study they seek to describe (Bigo et al. 2019; Bruno et al 2016; Desrosières 2002, Foucault 1968, 1978, Hacking 1980; Uprichard 2012; Ruppert 2019). This means that categories, concepts and patterns transmute along with the numbers used to represent them. The argument is divided into three sections, the first of which explores the theoretical conceptualisations and quantifications of fem(in) icide. It questions to what extent the problems of quantifying fem(in)icide are an epiphenomenon of its variance in definitions. The second section grapples with empirical ‘global’, ‘regional’ and ‘national’ efforts to compare fem(in)icide across time and spaces. By zooming in on Mexico as a case study, the paper highlights the complexities of generating comparable data on fem(in)icide due to distinct differences in context. The danger in reducing fem(in)icide to ‘intimate-femicide’ is highlighted as this leaves certain bodies outside of the ‘global’ logics of quantification. As an alternative, the paper’s final section stresses the need to embrace multiplicity through reflexivity in knowledge production. Given the rapid acceleration of digital technologies and data collection methods, it suggests how future studies could strongly benefit from looking into alternative ways of collecting data on fem(in)icide if our aim is to understand further the contextual particularities of this heinous phenomena.

Preface

Despite numerous harrowing stories covered by the media on a daily basis, it is still a challenge to actually understand the extent of violence against women and girls (VAWG). A vital instrument in the fight of VAWG is reliable and up-to-date information and statistics. In India, these numbers are especially important for an in-depth analysis of the occurrence of this heinous crime across the regions, economic strata and social structures of the country. The need for a femicide watch or observatory was first emphasized on a global platform by the UN Special Rapporteur, Dr. Dubravka Simonovic on 25 November, 2015. (1) Dr. Simonovic focused on how since homicide cases do not include information between the victim and criminal, femicide cases are hidden in female homicide cases.

There is a need for a multidisciplinary national mechanism such as a ‘Femicide Watch’, ‘GenderRelated Killing of Women Watch’ or an ‘Observatory on Femicide’ whose establishment would need a coordinated effort between the State, NGOs, independent human rights institutions, academia, and other stakeholders of this field.(2) Only such an organized manner of data collection and analysis will be able to properly and accurately identify the number of victims of VAWG and the number of femicides occurring periodically. In 1990, Nobel Prize winning economist, Dr. Amartya Sen, claimed that nearly 100 million women were ‘missing’ in the world, with almost 40 million in India alone.(3) In 2011, according to the United Nations Population Fund a record of more than 117 million women were ‘missing’ in South Asia. (4) In December 2006, Rita Banerji initiated ‘The 50 Million Missing Campaign’ to raise awareness about the disappearance of women and girls of India in a span of a century. (5) This disconcerting figure, by Ms. Banerji, is an estimate based on an analysis of three generations, observing the systematic extermination of India’s girls and women through forced abortions and female foeticide, female infanticides, dowry murders and other acts of gender related violence that lead to femicide in India.

Preface

Violence against women, in all its types, explicitly portrays an abuse of human rights. One of the most dangerous problems all around the world is femicide - an act of killing women because of their gender. It not only impairs the individual rights of women, but it also negatively affects the general well-being of a society. In Turkey, femicide is a current socio-cultural and political problem, which culminates day by day into high rates. Despite the juristic and legal regulations which should help to prevent violence against women, femicide in Turkey has still not stopped. Collecting relevant data on femicide is challenging for femicide observatories because the data systems of police and government and also the systems of medical organizations often do not provide satisfactory information about the relationship or (gender-related) motives of victim and perpetrator. Another important aspect is that domestic violence is not seen as a problem for society. (1) All women must stand up for their rights and feel empowered in their decisions in order to fight normative, male-power structures which produce gender biased norms and stereotypes and harm the representation of women. Although women have to fight for gender equality, it is clear that this can only be achieved if empowerment, education, solidarity, participation and activism play a decisive role in all areas of life: 

In order for women to attain equal rights, there is a long struggle ahead of us, which requires perseverance. If we do our best at the moment without any delays to save women’s lives, we can fight for our rights in the future in solidarity with our sisters whose lives we saved.“ (2) 

This article aims to present the femicide observatory platform “We Will Stop Femicide Platform” in Turkey and outlines its function, activities, proposed solutions and developed measures. Likewise, the general data of femicide in Turkey will be examined in more detail and an attempt will be made to research different types and definitions.