Gender Rights

The Dialogue’s work on gender rights aims to promote a better understanding of issues of concern to women, with a focus on women’s leadership, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive rights. It also raises awareness of challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities. Our work explores ways to advance more women into political power and enhance their influence over policies affecting women at all levels, in both the private and public sectors. The Dialogue provides a platform to discuss the unique challenges women face today and seek ways to address them.


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A History of the Dialogue’s Work on Gender and Democracy

The Dialogue’s pioneering work has made significant contributions to the advancement of women in leadership, the promotion of reproductive rights and health, and the reduction of violence against women. However, these issues remain extant in the region, emphasizing the need to continue conducting research and analysis in each of these key areas of concern to women and crucial to the health of the region’s democracies.

˙Joan Caivano

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In preparation for the inaugural Summit of the Americas in Miami, Florida, the Inter-American Dialogue and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) convened the first Roundtable of Western Hemisphere Women Leaders on October 7, 1994. Frustrated by the absence of women on the agenda in the lead up to the summit, roundtable participants issued a Communiqué to the heads of state who would meet at the summit, urging them to address the need to expand investment in women’s education, health care and economic opportunities; to support the full range of human rights for women; and to promote national and regional policies to empower women. As ambassador of Costa Rica to the White House, one of the roundtable participants had a role in planning the summit with direct access to summit participant, President Violeta Chamorro of Nicaragua. Chamorro shepherded the communiqué to her fellow heads of state and advocated for its inclusion on the Agenda of the First Summit of the Americas. The demands of the communiqué were reflected in Initiative 18 of the summit’s final Plan of Action.

While the heads of state were receptive to the roundtable’s communiqué and committed to enact concrete measures to strengthen the role of women in society, the implementation of these measures fell short. At the urging of participants in that first roundtable, the Dialogue and ICRW partnered to establish the Women’s Leadership Conference of the Americas (WLCA), a network of 100 women leaders from diverse sectors and ideological perspectives who shared a commitment to advancing women into leadership positions and public policies to improve the lives of women in the hemisphere. The first meeting of the WLCA was convened on July 10 and 11, 1997, right before the second Summit of the Americas was to be held in Santiago, Chile. The group issued a second communiqué that called on governments to establish mechanisms to monitor, measure, record and report on their compliance with commitments made to women at the Summits of the Americas and other international forums, like the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, convened by the United Nations in Beijing.

Monitoring Progress on Women’s Leadership

The WLCA adopted as its mission to monitor progress governments made on their promises to advance women’s status. In 2001, the WLCA published a report on women in political power in the hemisphere, citing their belief that the number of women in political leadership is a concrete indicator of a country’s progress (or lack thereof) toward fulfilling its commitment to women’s equality. The report recommended that presidents and prime ministers appoint more women to their cabinets and take action to encourage equitable representation of women on election ballots. At the time, women’s participation in political power averaged 20 percent or above in only two countries in the region. At 22 and 20 percent, however, Canada and the United States were still far from the 30 percent benchmark set at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women.

Throughout the 2000s, the Dialogue continued to utilize the WLCA as a platform to commission research and advance policy recommendations on women’s leadership, including on women in global leadership and women in corporate power. Additionally, in 2007, the Dialogue partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank, the League of Women Voters, the Inter-American Foundation, and the Organization of American States to convene a group of women political leaders for the joint conference, Women in the Americas: Paths to Political Power. This discussion of background research commissioned on women’s political participation in Latin America and the Caribbean offered diverse women leaders a unique opportunity to strategize on how to increase women’s representation and effectiveness in politics.

The productive partnership between the Dialogue and League of Women Voters continued into the 2010s as the two organizations joined forces with the International Association of Women Judges to convene experts and women jurists from the region for a conference on women in judicial leadership in the Americas. In the resulting report, the authors stressed that a strong and representative judicial sector requires that women judges be present in all courts at all levels and that there be merit-based institutionalized processes in place that allow those women judges to rise through the ranks.  

Shifting Focus: Sexual & Reproductive Rights in the Region

The 2010s also introduced a new focus of the Dialogue’s work on gender, beyond women’s leadership. In partnership with the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Dialogue organized a 2014 Symposium on Reproductive Rights in Latin America. This initiative brought important attention to the troubling consequences of restrictive abortion laws for the lives and human rights of Latin American women and examined the forces promoting more progressive laws in some countries. Following this symposium, the report “Abortion and Reproductive Rights in Latin America: Implications for Democracy” was published in the hopes of improving the understanding of the crucial connections among reproductive rights, democracy, and citizenship in Latin America.

In an ongoing effort to follow up on this report, the Dialogue and the Center for Reproductive Rights hosted another forum in 2016 that compared advances and setbacks on the status of sexual and reproductive rights in several countries, “Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean: Where Are We Now?” Panelists acknowledged that progress has been made in countries like Chile, where legislation passed lifting its total ban on abortion and legalizing therapeutic abortion. They also recognized, however, that countries like El Salvador have experienced dire setbacks, imposing a total ban on abortion where once exceptions were made to save the life of the mother, and imprisoning women found guilty of abortion, even in the case of miscarriage.

Program Work on Violence through a Gender Lens

In recent years, the Dialogue’s work on gender rights has expanded its focus to include violence against women. In conjunction with the Seattle International Foundation, the Dialogue hosted a panel in 2019 entitled, “Nowhere to Turn: Gender-Based Violence and its Impact on Migration.” Panelists highlighted the triple threat faced by women: a culture of gendered victimization, an ecosystem of organized crime, and a president of the United States who is closing the doors to migrants and asylum seekers. These women have nowhere to turn.

In 2020, the Dialogue published an analysis of violence against women in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The article emphasized the need to take an intersectional approach to devising measures that address domestic violence and violence against women, given that migrant, indigenous, older, and transgender women are vulnerable groups who are often overlooked by these policies.

Then in April 2020, the Dialogue held a webinar on the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on the state of human rights in Latin America featuring former Dialogue co-chair and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. The event drew attention to the impact of the crisis on women and girls who are at high risk due to pre-existing discrimination and inequality. Specifically, Bachelet emphasized that during the confinement period, many countries experienced an increase in cases of domestic violence. Bachelet stated that support services related to gender-based violence, like emergency shelters and hotlines, should be declared essential and remain open, and victims should be informed about such services.

The Future of Gender Rights at the Dialogue

As the Dialogue considers launching a new decade of programming and policy recommendations in the field of gender rights, it is mindful of approaching the issues through an intersectional lens. Gender cannot be analyzed in isolation, rather it must be approached in concert with other ascriptive identities, such as sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, ability, and socioeconomic status. Furthermore, gender-based analysis should not remain siloed in a gender rights program. All Dialogue programs will be encouraged to approach their subject matter through a gendered lens to diversify and enrich the quality of their analysis. Finally, although the Dialogue’s pioneering work has made significant contributions to the advancement of women in leadership, the promotion of reproductive rights and health, and the reduction of violence against women, these issues remain extant in the region, the Dialogue therefore remains committed to conducting research and analysis in each of these key areas of concern to women and crucial to the health of the region’s democracies.  

 

Sarah Galbenski is an undergraduate student at Notre Dame University majoring in Spanish and Global Affairs with a concentration in International Peace Studies. She was an intern with the Office of the President.

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More than half of the countries with the highest number of femicides are located in the Americas. In 2018, at least 3,529 women in the LAC region were victims of femicide. In Ecuador, Uruguay, and Peru, femicide at the hands of an intimate partner exceeds 85 percent of the total deaths of women in the country. Violence against women (VAW) encompasses a wide range of acts from verbal harassment to other types of emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and femicide is the most extreme manifestation of VAW.

Most incidences of VAW occur in intimate settings, according to couples and former partners. This type of violence tends to be normalized in the context of machismo culture predominant within Latin American households, as explained in "Activism against Gender-Based Violence on the Rise in LAC." In the first quarter of 2019, the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System reported 60,384 cases of domestic violence in Mexico, an increase of 4 percent over the previous year. 

In this context, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent government responses have had a severe impact on certain vulnerable segments of the population in Latin America. Lockdowns force women to go home with their abusers without access to support or aid services. Furthermore, the shutting down of businesses, the absence of social engagement, economic uncertainty, and increasing unemployment create tensions within the household that could trigger a rise in tensions that lead to domestic violence. In response to this intensified crisis, governments and other societal actors have had to quickly implement new forms of outreach, adapt their resources to fit a Covid-19 reality, and develop new partnerships to widen their impact. 

Gender Inequalities during the Pandemic

The recent pandemic has exacerbated economic inequality, made care work more burdensome and dangerous, and increased gender-based violence. Before the lockdown, women carried out three to four times more housework than men in Latin America. In addition, online schooling requires women to spend more time on housework and childcare than before. In the region, women represent 59 percent of the informal sector. Lockdown practices have limited financial independence of women as they are more at risk of losing their jobs.

Lockdowns increasing domestic violence 

In several countries of the region, such as Argentina, Brazil and Chile, there has been an increase in calls and reports of domestic violence since the beginning of the lockdowns. Abusers usually restrain the liberty and mobility of their victims, so the lockdowns provide a new platform of control for the abuser. 

In some countries, the opposite has occurred. In the Dominican Republic, a country with the fifth highest rate of femicides in Latin America and the Caribbean, there has been a 50 percent decrease in the number of reports of gender violence. Experts note that this does not mean that violence has disappeared. Their domestic circumstances may not allow many women to report abuse privately. Others may fear the sickness and potential death that could result if they were to leave home to report violence or seek shelter more than their abusive living situation. 

Misinformation surrounding the lockdowns and government restrictions has played a large role as well. Some victims do not know if they are able to leave their homes safely without being fined or arrested, especially if the government has not been explicit about lockdown exceptions. For that reason, the Argentinian government openly states that women and LGBTQ people experiencing violence are free to violate the quarantine to seek help.

The recent pandemic has exacerbated economic inequality, made care work more burdensome and dangerous, and increased gender-based violence. Lockdown practices have limited financial independence of women as they are more at risk of losing their jobs.

State responses

Governments in Latin America have taken certain measures to ensure that support networks and legal resources are still available for domestic violence cases during the pandemic. Once the lockdowns began, Argentina and Uruguay automatically extended precautionary protection measures for victims of gender-based violence. These either expired in the last 40 days or will expire within the quarantine period. In São Paulo, Brazil and Colombia, authorities issued a decree to guarantee continued access to services virtually, including legal counsel, psychosocial advice, and police and justice services, including hearings. 

In the region, Peru, Panama, and Colombia have adopted restrictions on mobility based on gender. Even though these restrictions are adopted with the goal of preventing the spread of Covid-19, gender restrictions on mobility could also present a viable escape valve for women in situations of domestic violence. Women can leave home without their abusers to seek help and access support services. On the other hand, policies based on biological sex can be counterproductive to the LGBTQ community and expose them to more violence on the streets. 

The role of technology

In light of mobility restrictions, governments have resorted to technology to maintain services for domestic violence cases. In Argentina and Chile, authorities have included a WhatsApp number to support helplines in receiving reports. WhatsApp and text messages are a preferable resource because they provide a more discrete way for the victim/survivor to reach out for help. These platforms also offer mental health and legal services. 

Blockchain technology is another resource that has gained popularity for reporting. Blockchain is a digital protocol that creates an unalterable documentary record. This feature has allowed new applications to use the internet to document, time-stamp, and establish key evidence. UrSafe is an app that uses blockchain technology to record calls and sounds around the device which could be later used to support legal actions against abusers. Currently, the app is free during the time of the emergency period in Latin America. 

[caption id="attachment_97156" align="alignright" width="300"]Mujeres Seguras en Casa Alcaldía Municipal de Pacho Cundinamarca[/caption]

Social media is also an essential platform for governments to advertise helplines and support services. Campaigns have tried to make domestic violence a more visible issue in the Covid-19 context. In Mexico and Colombia, campaigns like informative guides #HeForSheDesdeCasa and #MujeresSegurasenCasa were launched. 

Nevertheless, technology has its limitations in reaching women outside of urban areas and capital cities in the region. Internet is still considered a luxury in impoverished areas. Globally, women are 21 percent less likely to own a mobile phone, so technology-based solutions could exclude women in rural areas and low-income neighborhoods. 

The private sector and civil society organizations addressing domestic violence

Civil society organizations (CSOs) and private companies have played an important role compensating for the limitations of state responses to domestic violence. Shelters in Mexico and Argentina have been declared essential services to ensure their continued operation. Governments are building alliances with the private sector to expand facilities to house people in need of shelter. In Argentina, the Minister of Women introduced "Plan H" in partnership with hotels and student residences. Plan H aims to house people identified from calls to the helpline 144. 

Pharmacies have also proven to be crucial allies in expanding support networks. In Argentina, the initiative Barbijo Rojo (red mask) is a joint effort of the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity and the Argentine Pharmaceutical Confederation. Women in need of help can go to pharmacies and ask for a red mask. This is a code that alerts staff to call the helpline 144.  

CSOs play a fundamental role in keeping governments accountable. These organizations often provide crucial legal support and mental health services. They also encourage more transparent communication among different societal actors. In Bolivia, a pregnant girl who violated the curfew to access the hospital was forced by the military on the street to go back home. Breeze of Hope, an NGO, mediated between local authorities and hospital facilities to get the medical help needed. 

The involvement of private companies in these awareness campaigns has also helped reach a wider audience through social media. Avon and Natura, companies with enormous presence in the region, have implemented initiatives to raise awareness of domestic violence before and during the pandemic. Avon launched the campaign #AisladasNoSolas. This outreach strategy uses silent videos to disseminate different helplines and support networks among their customers on social media without alerting abusers. 

https://twitter.com/FundacionAvon/status/1272566606397419521

Challenges ahead

Covid-19 has brought on new challenges for governments to address regarding domestic violence and VAW in the region. Efforts to tackle VAW are still hobbled by the lack of regional coordination around establishing a cohesive definition of and criteria for terms such as femicide. It is important that governments mobilize resources to standardize their data collection and legal framework of VAW in the region. This will allow a better assessment of the state of gender-based violence in the region and enhance policy efforts. 

To address the increase of VAW, civil society organizations should continue documenting and sharing data to hold key stakeholders accountable and ensure that this issue is at the forefront of state responses to Covid-19. 

Likewise, the government should emphasize the key role of social networks in neighborhoods. Campaigns must raise awareness of the importance of reporting sexual violence. Research has proven that bystander training, involvement of leaders and influential social referents are effective interventions against domestic violence and/or VAW. 

Lastly, even though the spike in domestic violence is gaining more coverage in the media, there is a need for measures to address domestic violence and VAW through an inter-sectional lens. Migrant, indigenous, older, and transgender women are vulnerable groups who often get overlooked by these policies.



Melanie Ordóñez is an undergraduate student at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She was an intern with the Office of the President.

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Covid-19 in the Americas: The Dialogue’s Coronavirus Updates

 

[post_title] => Domestic Violence in the Context of Covid-19: State Responses & Alliances in Latin America [post_excerpt] => Covid-19 restrictions have resulted in an increase of domestic violence throughout the region. In response, governments and other societal actors have had to quickly implement new forms of outreach, adapt their resources to fit a Covid-19 reality, and develop new partnerships to widen their impact.  [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => domestic-violence-in-the-context-of-covid-19-state-responses-alliances-in-latin-america [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-06-16 22:01:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-06-16 22:01:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.thedialogue.org/?p=97127 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 87036 [post_author] => 57 [post_date] => 2019-09-11 17:33:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-09-11 17:33:36 [post_content] =>

 “There is a broad underestimation [by US immigration court judges] of how dangerous the situation on the ground is in Central America. Most people… live in a constant culture of violence. For example, most of my teenage clients have witnessed someone being murdered on the streets, and this is the norm.”

 - Corie O’Rourke, “Nowhere to Turn: Violence Against Women in the Northern Triangle and its Impact on Migration”

PART I: VIOLENCE IN COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

Violence against women and girls has long been epidemic in the Northern Triangle, but is recently gaining more attention due to both sustained advocacy from local groups on the ground and the coverage of female migrants that flee to the United States. Quantifying the extent of violence faced by women and girls, especially in a region where it is culturally normalized, is difficult: instances of violence often go unreported, or are ignored or contested. One measure of victimization is gender-based homicides, or femicides—that is, the killing of women and girls because of their sex. High rates of femicide are evidence of societies that are incredibly hostile to them. Three of the four countries with the highest rate of femicide in Latin America are the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador (6.8 femicides per 100,000 people), Honduras (5.1), and Guatemala (2) (Bolivia is the fourth).

The main reason that countries record femicide data—albeit often incompletely—is because of sustained advocacy and pressure from local and international women’s groups, who in light of the unrelenting violence pushed for femicide laws in the mid-2000’s. Before that, violence against women as girls was recognized as a pressing regional problem by the 1995 Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women, known as the “Belém do Pará Convention” which specifically enumerated the rights of women to live with dignity and free of violence, and was ratified by Northern Triangle countries soon after entering into force. However, neither the Convention, nor subsequent national anti-discrimination laws, or femicide legislation are sufficient to mitigate violence against women—as attested to both anecdotally and statistically. Such violence manifests as including emotional, psychological, physical, and sexual abuse and/or harassment throughout the region.

In these countries, which already struggle with generalized insecurity and widespread impunity for violent crime, comparatively little attention is paid to violence against women and girls, who are often treated as property. As a starting point, it is important to parse how institutional decisions and conditions in the Northern Triangle affect women’s security.

First of all, the pervasive presence and influence of criminal gangs–particularly in Honduras and El Salvador–negatively affects women, since there is an increasing weaponization of rape and violence against women, usually as a means of revenge, in order to assert control, or as part of a dispute between two men. Even female gang members are subjugated and abused by their male counterparts, and face death or the death of a family member if they decide to leave.

In order to respond to increased criminal activity and insecurity, the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have tended to rely heavily on their militaries, dedicating more funding and resources to military operations, that is, disseminating more arms with greater lethal capacity to soldiers with more freedom to use them. Increased militarization leads to more human rights violations across the board, with particular dangers for marginalized groups such as women. Migrant women are especially vulnerable to abuse and exploitation because of their uncertain status, lack of local knowledge, and lack of resources, among other disadvantages.

Furthermore, the greater distribution and availability of munitions aggravates domestic violence, which is very common in the Northern Triangle. Even in the United States, where rule of law is arguably far stronger than in the Northern Triangle, dangerously lax gun legislation contributes to violence against women in the home, where “women with access to firearms become homicide victims at significantly higher rates than men.” Many of the firearms seized from criminals in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador come from the United States, and a surprising percentage were bought legally at retail outlets in the U.S. and then transported south, pointing to the ease of purchase and lack of oversight of gun purchases.

The major accelerant for violence against women is near-total impunity for its perpetrators. Generally, most sexual violence against women is perpetrated by someone they know, and, globally, most women are murdered by either a family member or intimate partner. This makes it much more difficult to denounce, especially in cultures that condone abuse of women. Unfortunately, even when denunciations are made, in countries in the Northern Triangle, there is almost total impunity for crimes against women. Of the cases presented to Guatemala's Special Prosecutor for Women, 97.5 percent are not resolved or do not result in prosecution. The Honduran National Human Rights Commission reported that 90 percent of the femicides committed between 2002 and 2018 brought no one to account; according to local human rights groups, the number is closer to 98 percent. In El Salvador, 95% percent of the denunciations of crimes against women never go to trial. Effectively, this means that, if a woman takes the often extremely dangerous step of denouncing her attacker, the likelihood of his being called to account is far smaller than the likelihood that she will be punished for speaking out.

It is also important to acknowledge how national policy decisions, in the form of a denial of reproductive rights, exacerbates violence against women and girls in the Northern Triangle. It is no coincidence that the societies in these countries are plagued by entrenched machismo: the culture of subjugation of women and girls is perpetuated and exacerbated by the total abortion bans in Honduras and El Salvador, where many women are incarcerated for miscarriages or die from unsafe attempted abortions (In 2016, Evelyn Cruz, an El Salvadoran woman was sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder after being raped by a gang member and giving birth to a stillborn child. After 33 months in prison and sustained advocacy from local and international groups, she was released from prison, but is still facing murder charges from state prosecutors. She is one of at least 25 women who have been incarcerated in El Salvador for some form of miscarriage.) In Guatemala, abortion is legal only to save a woman’s life, and the new President-elect, Alejandro Giammattei, openly opposes decriminalizing abortion.

Abortion restrictions are only one part of holistic national campaigns to deny women and girls rights over their own bodies. Lack of sexual education, stigmas around premarital sex, and lack of knowledge about or access to contraceptives effectively condemn women and girls in the Northern Triangle to early motherhood, which often involves health complications and an increased risk of mortality. Adolescent birth rates in the Northern Triangle range from 66 to 81 births per 1000 teenage girls aged 15-19. To put this in perspective, the adolescent birth rate in the United States is about 19.  

In denying women and girls rights over their own bodies, countries in the Northern Triangle are stunting their physical and economic independence, circumscribing their freedom to go to school or work, which thereby makes them more dependent on men in their communities and less able to escape violent conditions. The denial of these rights is supported and even exported by the Trump administration through networks of politicized Evangelical fundamentalism and mirrored in increasing abortion restrictions in the United States.

PART II: FLEEING FOR THEIR LIVES, THEN RECEIVING SHORT SHRIFT IN THE US IMMIGRATION SYSTEM

In this suffocating environment, violence against women becomes a factor affecting outward migration from countries in the Northern Triangle: in recent years, more and more women, both alone or with their children, are fleeing Central America for survival. It has never been easy to gain asylum in the United States as a woman facing gender-based violence. In August of 2014, a landmark decision by the US Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) found that women facing severe domestic violence in Guatemala are eligible for asylum in the United States, setting a precedent for favorable asylum decisions for persecuted women from the region.

However, this did not change the essentially arbitrary nature of asylum decisions in the United States, which depend almost completely on the judge and often the location of the immigration court. For example, in New York City, the denial rate for asylum cases ranges from 2.2 percent for some judges to 59 percent for others. In Oakdale, Louisiana, the denial rate ranges from 93.1 percent to 100 percent. Even in Los Angeles and San Francisco, some judges deny asylum cases at rates of 77 percent. Immigration judges are given asylum cases at random, meaning that judges will face a variety of different pleas and situations. Consistent or absolute rejection of cases is therefore statistically unlikely to mean that few or none of the petitions were warranted or viable. Rather, it points to the undue weight that a judge’s judicial philosophy can have in deciding the fate of asylum seekers.  

Even judges more amenable to granting asylum are feeling pressured by the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies. In 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a decision overruling the August 2014 BIA decision, declaring that “persecution based on violent conduct of a private actor” is not grounds for asylum in the United States, though his ruling was eventually struck down by a D.C. District Court. In July 2019, Attorney General William Barr issued a decision overturning a previous ruling that recognized the legitimacy of asylum petitions based on threats to a family member, which the ACLU called the “continuation of an attack on Central American asylum seekers” by the Trump administration.

These attacks have so far included policies—such as “metering”, or limiting the number of asylum seekers that enter the United States per day, or “Migrant Protection Protocols,” colloquially known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy—which force asylum seekers to remain, or send them back to, Mexico or, potentially, Guatemala while they await asylum decisions in the United States. While in migration limbo, migrants, and especially women and children, are at an increased risk of abuse and exploitation, on both sides of the border. As US immigration policies become more draconian, more migrants are waiting,  condemning them in many cases to, at best, destitute invisibility, and, at worst, targeting by cartels or corrupt Mexican government officials. “Safe third country” agreements are a sham: neither Mexico nor Guatemalaboth of which are facing epidemics of lynchings because citizens have little faith in police forces and local governments to enforce the rule of law—are safe even for their own citizens, much less for migrants who lack local protection networks and are unlikely to appeal to authorities because of their status. What’s more, detention in Mexico often means that migrants have difficulty attending their asylum hearings, and cannot find legal representation, negatively affecting their case. Already, more migrants from the Northern Triangle are applying for asylum in Mexico, which is unprepared to process their requests or accommodate them.

It is important to emphasize that the “Remain in Mexico” policy, the practice of detaining migrants, and other means used to deter or reject refugees or migrants seeking asylum are likely illegal under both domestic and international law, fundamentally violating the US Immigration and Nationality Act and the United Nations Refugee Convention 1967 Protocol, among others. The horrifying conditions at detention centers arguably violate the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which state that those in detention by governments must be treated humanely.

In short, women and girls in the Northern Triangle face violence seemingly in perpetuity, both at home and when they become migrants. The factors contributing to epidemic rates of violence against women and girls in the Northern Triangle, and beyond, are, in no particular order: organized crime; government militarization; availability of weapons; impunity for perpetrators; denial of reproductive rights; and cruel and arbitrary US immigration policies, all fed by a deep machismo and aided and abetted by networks of politicized Evangelical fundamentalism, many based in the United States.

[post_title] => The Toxic Intersection of Violence Against Women in the Northern Triangle and the Trump Administration's Anti-Immigration Policies [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-toxic-intersection-of-violence-against-women-in-the-northern-triangle-and-the-trump-administrations-anti-immigration-policies [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://www.elclip.org/lideres-evangelicos-amparados-por-la-casa-blanca-exportan-agenda-fundamentalista-a-america-latina/ https://elperiodico.com.gt/nacion/2019/07/03/impunidad-prevalece-en-casos-de-violencia-contra-la-mujer/ https://es.insightcrime.org/noticias/analisis/militarizacion-crimen-peligrosa-apuesta-centroamerica/ https://www.lawg.org/left-in-the-dark-violence-against-women-and-lgbti-persons-in-honduras-and-el-salvador/ [post_modified] => 2020-06-17 12:34:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-06-17 12:34:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.thedialogue.org/?p=87036 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )
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