Alarm, warning and prevention against the murders of women

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  • Feminist protest.
    Feminist protest. Source: Xarxanet.

The strategy aimed at deconstructing, burying and overcoming the patriarchal system includes promoting and taking advantage of every small step and advance that improves, even if it is lukewarm and limited, the living and current existence of women in general and of each one in particular.

Montserrat Vilà


Founder and current director of Hélia (2008) and president of the Unitary Platform against Gender Violence which gathers more than 131 organizations for the fight for women's rights.

Vertical photo: 
Montserrat Vilà
Square photo: 
Montserrat Vilà
Horizontal photo: 
Montserrat Vilà

The feeling of recognizing and rejecting sexist violence increases positively among a majority of women and among a minority of men. In this sense it is going slowly, but in the right direction. Public policies advance in laws, rules and media, it is also very positive, although extremely insufficient in budgets, services and education.

The reaction to each advance in the improvement of women's rights and reality is high voltage in all aspects. From the grossest denialism to subtle complicity, obstructing the application of laws and twisting them to support the privileges and defense of the aggressor, the perversion of working conditions and coexistence attitudes, slander and the lie in the media and social networks, to the persistence of masculinist symbolism that permeates from the color of the creatures' clothes and their abilities to learn in the game, to the values ​​presented as universal and ancestral that mark the man as dominant and woman as submissive.

The impunity of the culture of aggression is the norm. We women are undermining it with doses of infinite resilience and sublime selflessness. Women and the feminist movement are taking giant steps in the collective imagination and advancing their freedom.

Undeniable advances do not seem to be reflected in the pattern of murders. In 2003, 71 femicides due to male violence were recorded in the Kingdom of Spain. In 2008 there were 76. In 2010 we have 73. In 2018, 53 according to the government, 81 according to the feminist movement. In 2019, 56 according to the government, 96 include the feminist movement. In 2020 with the confinement, 49 according to the government, 83 counted by the feminist movement. In 2022, 68 with government data, and 92 by the feminist movement. The differences between the government and feminists are mainly due to the fact that the government only counted murders by the partner or ex-partner, the feminist movement counts all murders due to male violence.

By locating the problem in the symbolic and cultural imaginary, in social relations and coexistence, in the political institutionality of a hierarchical and repressive power, the referents or leaders of the great feminist space, traversed by various social and ideological contradictions, they see the need to outline a revolutionary strategy whose perspectives, scenario, actions and alliances overcome the patriarchal experiential system and the deep imprints of androcentrism's misogyny.

The Unitary Platform against Gender Violence of Catalonia, formed in 2002, has been holding a rally in tribute to murdered women for 16 years, since 2006, every third Monday of the month in Plaça de Sant Jaume in Barcelona. His persistence over all these years is in itself a remarkable feat. For a few years there has been a choreography or particular act prepared by entities other than those that are part of the platform.

This strategy aimed at deconstructing, burying and overcoming the patriarchal system, includes promoting and taking advantage of every small step and advance that improves, even if it is lukewarm and limited, the living and current existence of women in general and of each one in particular.

What is fundamental is prevention, awareness, reparation, the extraordinary variety and vitality of sorority and collective women's organizations. Hundreds of collectives, if not thousands, of young girls are looking for ways to be useful in healing activities as well as in the progress of a "feminized" society with values ​​considered feminist.

A next step, better set, is practical awareness in the nature and materiality of male violence and the value system of patriarchal power. As it is intimately and indissolubly united with the economic system of the predominance of private ownership of the means of production of financial capital.

General awareness must encourage the change of surveillance on the woman to surveillance on the aggressor.

In this way it will be possible to achieve a real increase in the awareness of citizens, especially among women and in the younger sectors. We need substantial progress in rights at an institutional level (laws and measures against male violence) and at a social level. The forms of the economy of care must leave the anecdote, and the micro spaces, to become universal in public services, with sufficient quality.

The reparation of women in situations of gender violence, as opposed to punishment, is indeed essential and vital. Very few resources are devoted to it, compared to the immense needs and shortcomings. Reparation to women who have been violated, offended, offended and discriminated against. It is a necessity that has to do with the fact that the cause is structural, collective, social and political, it is not causal or individual.

The feminist movement must focus on putting the rights of all women at the center and strive for unity on the basis of the most crucial and consensus-building achievements.

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