BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Mauricio Macri and several members of his government welcomed Friday, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the families of female murder victims, and told them that putting an end to this scourge is now “state policy.”
“That’s what we told the families and we thanked them for their incredible ability to transform their sorrow into a struggle, their mourning into making this crime visible” and no longer hidden, Social Development Minister Carolina Stanley told a press conference after the meeting.
The meeting confirmed, she said, the head of state’s position that “fighting gender violence is state policy,” both in assuring care for the victims and in preventing the crime and in raising awareness about it.
“We’re grateful for having shared this morning of reflection with them, this morning of pain but also of so much hope,” said the minister, who appeared at the meeting together with the president of the government’s National Women’s Council, Fabiana Tuñez.
“We obviously need a cultural change to make sure that no woman, no girl experiences in her lifetime any form of gender violence,” Tuñez said.
Both women noted that the fight against violence must involve all sectors of society and, as a new step, called for the implementation of training programs for members of security forces and the prosecution of “street harassment” as a crime.
“The first is to assure women that they’re not alone, that we’re with them as a government and that there are also many organizations that support and stand by these victims. The second is so they feel neither fear nor shame...but know above all that they can leave that situation behind,” Stanley said.
The minister also emphasized that the president is committed to “empowering” the victims, so they don’t feel afraid with regard to the lack of resources if they decide to start a new life.
For her part, Tuñez said that, “though there’s a long road ahead,” we’re “making progress” and more women every day report acts of violence.
The meeting took place at the Olivos presidential residence and was the latest in a series of projects being pursued in Argentina today to raise awareness about sexist violence, such as a massive demonstration in Buenos Aires.
The latest studies, taken by organizations engaged in the fight against male violence, indicate that every 30 hours a woman or child is murdered in Argentina.
In addition, a survey published Friday by the Ni Una Menos campaign indicates that 97 percent of Argentine females admit to having suffered sexual harassment in public and private places.