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Olimpia Law: Step Forward in Gender Fight

By Sofía Hanna | Fri, 11/06/2020 - 17:55

Lockdowns and isolation have done nothing to improve domestic violence. While the feminist movement in Mexico reached a boiling point in March following International Women’s Day, the problematics feminists have been fighting for have taken a backseat since the arrival of COVID-19, says Alcalde, despite that 11 women are killed every day.

According to El Economista, incidents have increased since the quarantine started, which makes approving laws that protect women in violence and/or harassment cases a priority. According to the SESNSP, domestic violence increased in March by 23 percent although this only considers the cases that actually get reported. A Google trend also shows an increasing number of queries related to information on emergency calls for domestic violence, according to El Economista.

On Thursday, the Olimpia Law was approved by the Senate, which sanctions the reproduction and distribution of intimate and sexual content with three to six years of jail, plus a fine. According to Forbes, the law receives its name from Olimpia Coral Melo, an activist from Puebla that pushed for its implementation at the national level in 2014 when a video of her started circulating on social media when she was 18 years old.

According to the new law, digital violence will be understood as any type of harm done using technology, such as exchanging, sharing, transmitting, selling, or offering any sort of sexual content without consent. It will also be considered digital violence anything that causes emotional or psychological trauma by technological means, according to El Universal. 

The law follows months of difficult confrontation between the feminist movement and the Mexico City government. On Sept. 28, women protested in Mexico City against the criminalization of abortion throughout the country. Confrontation ensued as containment measures led to brutality accusations, which the government denied. Meanwhile, mothers of femicide victims took CNDH’s headquarters in Mexico City, forcing the commission to move its offices temporarily.

Gender violence, sexual harassment, criminalization of abortion and the lack of laws protecting women are some of the issues that the Mexican feminist movement “Mujeres vivas, mujeres libres” (Alive Women, Free Women) is trying to expose and fight. Artists, activists and NGO members have formed a campaign to sensitize, create conscience and awareness among decision-makers to address and tell the stories of those who have been victims of these situations, reports El Economista.

"The campaign portrays the movement inside our hearts and represents its diversity," said Maria Antonieta Alcalde Castro, Director of the non-profit organization in favor of safe and accessible abortion IPAS in Mexico and Central America, in an article from Forbes.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
El Economista, Forbes, El Universal
Sofía Hanna Sofía Hanna Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst

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