2014 Stanford Delegation

2014 Stanford Delegation
Stanford Delegation in the UCA Chapel

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Violence Against Women

One of the most sobering presentations since we arrived was with Professor Julia Martinez at the Univ. of Central America (UCA). She spoke with us about the violence against women in El Salvador as well as the extreme criminalization of abortion. I will cite just a couple of the statistics she shared with us:
  • Between Jan-Oct of 2009 there were 417 murders of women.
  • Last year they discovered a mass grave of 260 women who had been raped before they were murdered.
  •  And perhaps most alarmingly, El Salvador is number one in the world for feminicide and the murder rate is 40% higher than the next worst country, Guatemala.
It is perhaps too easy for us from an industrialized country to look with disdain upon these sad and depressing statistics, but the reality is that El Salvador is part of a worldwide pattern in which women and children are marginalized and victimized. Salvadoran women suffer from lack of access to proper health care, contraception and reproductive services, education, employment opportunities, etc. These also happen to be services that many women in the US also lack access to. So perhaps we are not that much different. Could it be that these are antecedental events that could lead to yet more violence against women?

I have suspicion that the way that we treat women and children in our society, nationally and globally, is a determining characteristic of our health. Perhaps women and children are the "parakeets in the coal mine" of global society. Their health and well being will determine our survival. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you (author?) for the thought provoking blog. Yes, these statistics are sobering and horrific. And, in light of the current assault and efforts to deny women in this country (US) their reporductive rights, your question about where this all might be leading is also very sobering. This conversation always leads me to an underlying question of the balance/imbalance of power between men and women. Please understand that I refer to 'men' in a generic sense and intend no insult to men specifically. I do wonder how it is that women who have the (ultimate?) power, privilege, joy and responsibilty of giving birth can be so disdained and mistreated by man. Is it fear and envy that compels men to acts of violence? How do we repair and bridge this chasm? There is so much to discuss and act upon regarding this issue. For now, heartfelt prayers for the women of El Salvador. Maureen