MONTEVIDEO – Around 5,000 people marched through the Uruguayan capital’s downtown as part of protests against gender-based violence in different parts of that South American country, where 12 women have been killed by their partners since the start of the year.
The protesters, who marched under the banner “Not One More,” demanded an end to this type of violence and commitments from participants to examine the daily practices that support the logic that underpins it, said Maru Casanova, a spokeswoman for the CFY feminist organization that organized the demonstration.
Nearly 70 percent of Uruguayan woman over the age of 15 say they have been victims of gender-based violence at some point in their lives, according to a United Nations Population Fund-supported gender equality report that covered the period from 2006 to 2014 and was presented last September in Montevideo.
“The most visible cases, the femicides, are the tip of the iceberg of the numerous gender-based assaults we women are subjected to merely for being women,” Casanova said.
“We live in a completely male-chauvinist society, where man’s dominance over women still exists,” said Jenny Escobar, president of the “Mujeres de Negro” (Women in Black) organization, one of the country’s most influential social platforms for gender equality.
To mitigate this situation, President Tabare Vasquez’s administration introduced a bill last December that would modify the criminal code to make femicide a “very special aggravating circumstance” in sentencing those convicted of homicide.
In Friday’s march, demonstrators also denounced a lack of equality between men and women in the workplace and other spheres of public life.
In that regard, the report released last September indicated that women in Uruguay received an average of 30 percent less pay for the same work.