Priority Issues: Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence: Femicide


Can be located by downloading zip file of the 34th assembly, document "AoD34-Doc13.08[EN].pdf"

Until 1992, the term femicide was used in the press and society to refer colloquially to the killing of women. In that year, Diana Russell and Jill Radford imbued the concept with legal and social content in their text Femicide: The Politics of Women Killing, defining it as the murder of women, by men, because they were women. They developed the term to refer to the gender-based motives behind the deaths of women at the hands of men: attempts to control their lives, bodies, and/or sexuality, to the point of punishing with death those who did not accept such subjection.

Subsequently, Marcela Lagarde took Russell and Radford’s notion of femicide and developed it as feminicide, rather than femicide, which would become the literal translation. For Lagarde, while femicide means the killing of women without specifying the causes of such deaths, the term feminicide lends itself better to covering the gender-based reasons and social construct underlying such deaths, as well as the impunity surrounding them. Lagarde uses the term feminicide in analyzing the murders of women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

However, at the international level, the terms feminicide and femicide are being used indistinctly to refer to the same problem, although in the case of the Caribbean, no such disagreement exists and only the term femicide is used.

Moreover, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) adopted the term feminicide in 2007, in the case of Bolivia, based on discussion in the “In-depth study on all forms of violence against women” of the United Nations Secretary-General, who also refers to this problem as feminicidio [in Spanish, but the English version uses only femicide – tr.].4/ Prior to that, the IACHR referred to this problem as murder of women, and expressed its concern by convening a thematic hearing on this problem (2006). The IACHR has admitted four cases on murders of women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. 

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 08/17/2015