Not only in Argentina, not only when it comes to abortion, Latin American women suffer. But they no longer put up with machismo.
Cheering in Buenos Aires after the Senate vote Photo: Flor Guzzetti/reuters
The Argentine Senate’s decision to legalize abortions and offer them for free is a huge step forward for women: No woman will have to die from an abortion anymore or fear health consequences because the procedure is done secretly and not professionally.
But above all, it is also a huge success for the feminist movement in the South American country. After all, Catholicism, which demonizes abortion, is very strong in Argentina. Even though the Catholic Church is now losing influence in Pope Francis’ home country, about 80 percent of the population still feels committed to Catholic rules.
Numerous women’s organizations have fought for decades for the right to abortion. And they continue to fight for gender justice. These struggles have taken place and continue to take place not only in Argentina, but in numerous countries in South and Latin America. Even this year, when Corona made demonstrations and rallies difficult, women on the continent have dared to revolt. On March 8 alone, International Women’s Day, they went on strike en masse and sent a signal: things can’t go on like this. Because the power gap between women and men is even more pronounced in South and Latin America than in Europe.
Of the 25 countries with the highest femicide rates worldwide, 14 are in South America. In Argentina, a woman dies every 30 hours due to gender-based violence. In Mexico, an average of 10 women are killed every day – by their partner or because the murders are politically motivated. The gender pay gap is 33 percent in Argentina and 23 percent in Cuba. Women and children suffer most from the consequences of mismanagement in Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil and Bolivia. Women are expected to run the household.
Women in Latin America no longer put up with this machismo. The uprising against this began – as the "Ni una menos" ("Not one less") movement – in Buenos Aires in 2015.