Contents: About the Digital Repository | Our Story | Why Femicide/feminicide? | Why Inter-american? | Who We Are and How We Work | Work with Us | References | Tech

About the Red (“Network”)

The Red Interamericana Anti Femicidio (Interamerican Anti-Femicide Network or RIAF) is a multilingual / interdisciplinary community for academic and activist dialogue on feminicide / femicide in the Americas. The goal of this group is to work collaboratively and to facilitate and share expert research as well as lived experiences from diverse contexts and communities with the intention of sharing knowledge across our hemisphere. We believe that by amplifying our collective knowledge, we can help contribute to the prevention of feminicide.

La Red Interamericana Anti Femicidio (RIAF) es una comunidad multilingüe / interdisciplinaria para el diálogo académico y activista sobre el feminicidio / femicidio en las Américas. El objetivo de este grupo es trabajar de manera colaborativa para facilitar y compartir el conocimiento experto y las experiencias vividas de diversos contextos y comunidades con la intención de compartir conocimiento entre nuestro hemisferio. Creemos que al ampliar nuestro conocimiento colectivo, podemos contribuir a la prevención del feminicidio.

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About the Digital Repository

This site is a collection of resources gathered by the Red Interamericana Anti Femicidio, an organic collaborative of activists, academics, survivors, and families of victims of femicide across the western hemisphere.

Our Story

RIAF was founded in September of 2020 as an opportunity for academics and activists, otherwise separated by national borders and institutional / disciplinary silos, to engage in dialogue on their work related to femicide / feminicide in the Americas.

Why Femicide/feminicide?

“Femicide” is a term that was coined by US-based, radical feminist sociologist Diana Russell in 1976 to describe the “misogynistic killing of women by men” (Radford and Russell 1992:3). Broadly, “femicide” refers to the homicides of women and girls as a result of gender-based violence such as intimate partner violence (domestic violence) that is oftentimes sexual and private in nature. Femicide can also refer to gender-based hate-based crimes such as the Montreal Massacre.

“Feminicide” is a term that was defined by Mexican anthropologist Marcela Lagarde y de los Rios in 2006. Elaborating on Russell’s definition, Lagarde introduced “feminicidio” (feminicide) to be understood as a crime in direct relationship to varying structures of power beyond patriarchy and misogyny. Writing in the Mexican context, Lagarde was especially interested in framing feminicidio, not as individual gendered homicides, but as a state crime and fundamental violation of human rights. In Lagarde’s words, feminicide refers to: “The entirety of crimes against humanity, including the murders, the kidnappings, and the disappearances of girls and women within the frame of institutional breakdown. It involves a breach in the rule of law which favors impunity. Feminicide is a state crime” (2010:20).

Most recently, feminist activists and scholars have pointed to the limitations of both “femicide” and “feminicide” as they both fail to account for the effects of colonization and white supremacy in the murders of Indigenous women (García-Del Moral 2018) and the disproportionate femicide of women of color. There is no data source available on rates of feminicides of Indigenous women due to epistemic blindness that fails to disaggregate information based on race or ethnicity of the victims.

The terms “femicide” and “feminicide” are rarely used in the United States. However, that does not mean that this kind of violence does not take place. A 2017 report conducted by the Violence Policy Center, estimated that 2.54 women were murdered each day by an intimate partner in the United States (citation). This kind of violence is especially high for Black and Indigenous women. A 2016 report conducted by the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs found that the leading cause of death for Black women ages 15 to 34, was homicide at the hands of an intimate partner or ex-partner. In other terms, Black women comprise 8% of the U.S. population, but account for 20% of the intimate partner homicide victims (Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs 2016). According to a 2019 report conducted by Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls “statistics show that Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or missing than any other women in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, between 2001 and 2015, homicide rates for Indigenous women were nearly six times higher than for non-Indigenous women.” (National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls 2019:7).

In Latin America, the two terms “femicide” and “feminicide” are both very common and widely used. While the usage of the terms varies contextually, Latin American feminists have developed dozens of femicide/feminicide observatories that analyze national trends on this violence and seek to develop policies on combating and preventing femicide. Further, feminist academics, activists, and lawmakers have authored and passed anti-femicide legislation in all Latin American countries (Carrigan and Dawson 2020).

As a network, we acknowledge the contributions and limitations of both terms (femicide and feminicide). We are interested in utilizing and expanding upon these definitions to continue to scholarship on and activism against lethal forms of gender-based violence in the hemisphere.

Why Inter-american?

While femicide is a global problem, focusing on “the Americas” provides us with the opportunity to focus on gender-based violence through the lens of our shared (but unequally experienced) histories of colonization, slavery and white supremacy, US intervention and hegemony, as they are made manifest into everyday forms of gender-based violence.

Further, framing femicide as an Interamerican problem challenges the pernicious stereotype that extreme forms of gender-based violence are unique to the Southern part of our hemisphere. For example, during the Trump presidency, we witnessed the ways in which Latin American immigrants were strategically painted as “violent rapists” as a means of garnering support for restrictive and inhumane immigration policies. As a network we reject the notions that femicide is an individualized pathology or that gender-based violence is more prevalent in a single culture or nationality but rather the result of intersecting forms of oppression that, at their most extreme iteration, dehumanize and kill women and girls.

Finally, the past decade has seen enormous mobilizations against femicide and gender-based violence in the Americas. From #NiUnaMenos in Argentina to #MeToo and the movement against murdered and missing Indigenous women in the United States and Canada, the Americas have been the epicenter of some of the most powerful movements against gender-based violence. Yet, these movements and their achievements are typically framed within regional silos instead of larger, hemispheric trends. In creating this network, we hope to fill some of this void by creating a space for Interamerican dialogue for academics, activists, artists, family members, and survivors.

Who We Are and How We Work

The RIAF leadership team is made up of a core team of academics, artists, and activists working on femicide in the Americas. All of our work is voluntary. Each month we seek to create an opportunity for members from our network to share their knowledge and experience related to femicide through our “charlas” series. These charlas (conversations) attempt to bridge the gap between grassroots activist work and academic scholarship. Additionally, by striving to be as bilingual (Spanish/English) as possible, we hope to transcend language barriers that would otherwise inhibit these conversations and exchanges.

Work with Us

We are always seeking individuals and groups to present their work for our monthly charlas series. If you are interested, please send a title and brief description of your proposed talk to: redinteramericanaantifemicida@gmail.com.

If you are an organization working on the issue of femicide in the Americas and would like to be featured on our website, please send us an email: redinteramericanaantifemicida@gmail.com.

If you have an event or publication that you would like to share with our network please share it with our Facebook group.

We are always seeking volunteers in the areas of

  1. Graphic design (helping us to create promotional materials for our events)
  2. Interpreting (English→ Latin American languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Quechua, Nahuatl, Aymara, Maya)

References

Carrigan, Michelle, and Myrna Dawson (2020). Problem Representations of Femicide/Feminicide Legislation in Latin America. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 9(2): 1–19.

García-del Moral, Paulina (2018). The Murders of Indigenous Women in Canada as Feminicides: Toward a Decolonial Intersectional Reconceptualization of Femicide. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society 43(4). University of Chicago: 929–954.

Lagarde y De Los Rios, Marcela (2010). Preface: Feminist Keys for Understanding Feminicide Theoretical, Political and Legal Construction. In Terrorizing Women Feminicide in the Americas Pp. xi–xxvi. Duke University Press.

National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019). Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/, accessed November 11, 2021.

Radford, Jill, and Diana E. H. Russell (1992). Femicide: The Politics of Woman Killing. Twayne.

Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (2016). African-American Community. http://www.wcsap.org/african-american-community, accessed May 10, 2017.

Technical Credits - CollectionBuilder

This digital collection is built with CollectionBuilder, an open source tool for creating digital collection and exhibit websites that is developed by faculty librarians at the University of Idaho Library following the Lib-STATIC methodology.

This site is built using CollectionBuilder-gh which utilizes the static website generator Jekyll and GitHub Pages to build and host digital collections and exhibits.

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