Violence is an omnipresent danger for Mexican women. Six out of ten experience some form of it in their lifetime, the party Futuro Jalisco maintains. Between 1985 and 2016 more than 52,000 perished, an average of nine a day.
No matter how political change manifests itself in Mexico, Futuro wants to ensure that it involves women in making political decisions.
“Since the beginning, we understood the principle of feminism, and the struggle of women across the country to live a life without violence was one of our main topics,” says Susana Ochoa, a co-founder of Futuro.
Historically speaking, women haven’t considered themselves to be political subjects in Mexico. Futuro is striving to be a party in which women – especially mothers – take on leadership roles, Ochoa says.
In a well-received move, President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador finally addressed gender violence with the Spotlight Initiative. Signed May 29, this UN-sponsored effort attempts to prevent and eradicate gender violence in three of the country’s most affected states. Under the initiative, Chihuahua, Guerrero, and Mexico State will receive US$11.8 million to prevent, respond and prosecute gender violence.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of public sentiment in Mexico that considers women themselves to be at fault for much of the violence committed against them, due to the way they might dress or behave.
In Morelos, Public Security chief José Antonio Guarneros recently stated that some women who have been killed in the state “dedicated themselves to activities not very typical of a lady.” And in Veracruz, legislators have proposed setting a 10 p.m. curfew.
Blaming women or placing restrictions on them is not the route Futuro wants to take. Instead, Ochoa urges politicians and society to re-evaluate traditional gender roles within households. “I am certain that violence against women isn’t going to change until we talk about who else should be involved in taking care of the kids or the ill. There is evidence that there is less violence at home when men involve themselves in domestic matters.”