Femicide and the Modern Woman

In Link T.O.’s June 5, 2018 blog post titled “Walking the path of Gender-Based violence,” we wrote about Women’s Shelters Canada and their petition for the Canadian government to commit to a National Action Plan on Violence Against Women. Recently, Women's Shelters Canada posted an update to inform the public that in 2018, at least 78 women and girls were killed in Canada (read the update here). This number was reported by the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, an organization that tracks and highlights Canadian femicide statistics, and aims to prevent further deaths by engaging in research and knowledge exchange.

"Femicide"is a term used to describe the intentional killing of women and girls due to their gender. The majority of femicide cases internationally are committed by men, and the World Health Organization (WHO) states, "...most cases of femicide are committed by partners or ex-partners, and involve ongoing abuse in the home, threats or intimidation, sexual violence or situations where women have less power or fewer resources than their partner." (WHO, 2012)

There are different types of femicide, one being intimate femicide. The WHO presented staggering statistics from an ongoing study that indicates that 35 percent of all murders of women globally are reported as committed by an intimate partner--and, disturbingly, pregnant women are a demographic with increased risk of death caused by an intimate partner. To learn about additional types of femicide, please read the WHO’s report here.

The specific term "femicide" (rather than "murder" or "homicide") represents an important shift in language because it differentiates these gender-based killings from those that are not motivated and/or fueled by misogyny and patriarchy. If we develop an understanding and educate the public about what femicide is and why it is committed, then society will be better equipped to address and prevent it.

With this new update from Women’s Shelters Canada, Link T.O. would like to once again stress the urgency of having a national plan to end violence against women. Please sign the petition here!

  • To learn more about Women's Shelters Canada, check out their website!

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