At the launch of the second phase of the Spotlight Mexico initiative, UNFPA Representative Alana Armitage calls for accelerated action against discrimination and violence against women, as well as against child marriage and early unions
Chilpancingo, Guerrero, September 7, 2022. At the launch of the second phase of the UN Women Mexico Spotlight Initiative (2022-2023), Governor Evelyn Salgado Pineda expressed her willingness to join efforts to eradicate “archaic behaviors” such as forced marriages and change the concept of Guerrero Bronco, sexist and violent , on the other hand freedoms, rule of law and respect for girls and women.
In a public hearing with representatives of five UN agents in Mexico, in the seat of the legislative power, he indicated that in the state paradigms of those who say: “where there is a woman, there must necessarily be a man” broken.
She specified that “women are capable and we have shown it at different times and from all the trenches”. For reference, he said that in his government, all ministries have strategies and actions to address and eradicate gender-based violence, the Women’s Secretariat has received the highest budget in its history and the first joint cabinet has been formed.
The representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Mexico, Alana Armitage, recognized the will of the participants to generate change, especially the governor of Guerrero, who from the beginning of his administration proposed to prevent, address and eradicate violence against women with a strategy of justice and holistic care to address the problem of forced unions.
However, he called for faster action as discrimination and violence against women, as well as harmful practices such as child marriage and early unions, persisted.
She proposed to continue building public policies, monitor administrative work under the Spotlight initiative and address social gender norms with a cross-cultural approach, “in other words, traditional values cannot and should not be an excuse for violating human rights. “On the contrary, culture should be a means of promoting and respecting rights.”
The first phase (2019 and 2021), funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations, started in Chihuahua, Mexico State and Guerrero, specifically in the municipalities of Chihuahua, Ciudad Juarez, Ecatepec, Naucalpan and Chilpancingo.
The representative of UN Women, Belen Sans Luque, explained that they are in Mexico to accompany the efforts of the state and civil society. With their institutional colleagues in the country, three main axes of the initiative were defined, legislative measures, prevention with other authorities in the country by identifying the causes of this violence and attention to the support of state institutions for women.
In addition, two transversal axes: data and statistics to generate stable information and close and articulated work with society.
The Deputy Representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner in Mexico, Jesus Peña Palacios, affirmed that the role of civil society and the voice of victims is key to achieving the goal of eradicating violence against women and girls.
The technical coordinator of the Spotlight Initiative in Mexico, Rocio Alvarez, reported that in the first phase, a comprehensive legislative diagnosis was made of everything that needs to be harmonized with federal and international standards.
UNDP Mexico’s National Officer for Effective Governance and Democracy, Carlos Cortes-Zea, highlighted the progress made in the development of manuals and handbooks along with the message of zero tolerance for gender-based violence, as well as the training of civil servants, the government, the Attorney General’s Office ( FGE) and the Supreme Court (TSJ).
The Coordinator of Spotlight at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Violeta Zarco, confirmed that her mission is to achieve a Mexico where women live free and safe, and for this they will work in Guerrero hand in hand with the authorities, the civil society and women’s groups.
From Inmujeres, Annabelle López Sánchez referred to the importance of re-educating not only women but also men about gender-based violence and that a legal, administrative, financial and regulatory mechanism must be created to guarantee municipal budgets to eradicate violence against women, which is left aside in the planning of Ramos 28 and 33 resources, almost always leaves aside the specific needs of women
“We hope that in Guerrero we can pilot something very specific to implement at the national level and strengthen the security and justice strategy for girls and women.”
From the technical team of the initiative, Yaneli Sánchez Macias, explained that at this stage they must generate laws for the prevention and care of violence with the integration of indigenous women, family care in case of femicide.
He also said they will work on an early warning system for femicide to help women who seek help and determine the best way to care; the strengthening of data banks to have much more information that enables them to deal with the problems before the killing of women and will cooperate to remove the signals of gender-based violence in the subject.
Raising Gender Alerts Challenge: Evelyn Salgado
After all, the governor pointed out among her government’s challenges the two indicators of gender-based violence against women, which will have to be addressed “by redoubling efforts, with decisive steps, such as the implementation of the second phase of the Spotlight.”
She emphasized that her government generates policies with a gender perspective, all secretariats have a strategy in favor of girls and women, and a “historic budget” has been allocated to Semukher.
He highlighted the “wonderful functioning” of the Violet Protocol, a unique model that articulates all the efforts of the responsible institutions to immediately search for women and children, and that the second stage of the program will begin in Acapulco and Chilpancingo, with purple taxis and trucks, as a safe place for girls and women, “it’s a grain of sand, of course, we won’t leave even one loose end.”
He pointed out that the state also has a legislative path “we are sending initiatives that guarantee gender equality and to put an end to these archaic forms such as forced marriage, we have a very big commitment. Never again a girl in forced cohabitation.’
He believes that with the accompaniment of national and international institutions, Guerrero can be a benchmark for changing “this concept of a harsh, macho, violent state; that he is a warrior of the freedoms, the rights and the absolute respect for our girls and our women”, which is possible with this combination of efforts.
He confirmed that there is a will, that things can change, “we did it from a political point of view, there are women in important positions in leadership positions, we are breaking paradigms”.
He recalled that before the last election, there were people who said that there were many years for a woman to rule in Guerrero, as well as those who said that “where there is a woman, there must necessarily be a man who says what to do. .. who is in power, but her husband is in charge, but her father is in charge, her brother is in charge, she must always say that there is a man who rules or decides for the woman”.
She emphasized that women are capable and we have shown it at various times and from all the trenches. She clarified that this is not a gender struggle, “but against inequality, against poverty and everything that has hurt us as women, in this struggle we see great allies here”.
Text: Lourdes Chavez/ Photo: Jesus Eduardo Guerrero