Mexican feminists protest ahead of women’s strike

Over the weekend, women marched to protest violence against women, with some burning a building in Sonora

Sierra Juarez   | 25.02.2020
Mexican feminists protest ahead of women’s strike


Feminists in Mexico held weekend protests over gender-based violence as they prepared for a nationwide strike. 

Last week, they announced an event for March 9 called “A Day Without Women,” in which women who are participating will not go out into the streets, purchase goods or attend school or work.

The strike comes after several high-profile femicides, or the killing of girls or women because of their gender. It is estimated that around 10 women in the country are killed every day.

Weekend protests

Over the weekend, protests and marches continued throughout the country for the second week in a row.

In Sonora, a northern state in Mexico, hundreds of women marched into a courthouse and started a fire Sunday night.

They were protesting recent femicides such as that of Ingrid Escamilla, who was allegedly brutally killed and mutilated by her partner.

How organizations view event

After what the feminists saw as an inadequate government response to the femicides, they announced the Day Without Women.

Over the past several days, several public and private universities have released statements supporting the strike.

Tecnologico de Monterrey, the highest-ranking university in Mexico, said women staff, professors and students would not be penalized for taking part in the event.

“We cannot be indifferent in the face of the stories and cases of violence against girls and women,” it said in a statement.

The Employer’s Confederation of the Mexican Republic, a major employer’s association in the country, said on Twitter that it supported the strike as well.

The strike will cost the country an estimated $1.3 million, according to Mexico’s Confederation of the National Chambers of Commerce.

For this reason, the organization said it was not backing the strike.

Government welcomes ‘dialogue’ with feminists

Historically, the government’s response has been muted, with vague promises to combat violence. But since women announced the strike and have continued to protest throughout the country, it has more openly commented on the issue.

In a press conference Friday night, Interior Minister Olga Sanchez Cordero said the government is listening and “will continue to listen” to the feminists’ concerns.

“The government’s doors are open for dialogue to learn from you all, to listen to your demands and proposals,” she said.

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