Argentina Passes New Law Against Gender Violence
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 9:31 AM

On 12 March 2009, the Inter Press Service (IPS) reported on a law passed on 11 March 2009 in Argentina which addresses violence against women. The new legislation defines violence against women in a broad sense and replaces an earlier law which limited the scope to domestic settings. Specifically, the new 2009 law prohibits "any behavior, action or omission that directly or indirectly, in the public or private sphere, based on an unequal relationship of power, affects the life, freedom, dignity, physical, psychological, sexual or economic integrity, or security of women." 

In addition to implementing new language, the law calls for the creation of an institution, the Observatory on Violence Against Women, which will track cases of violence and report on the effectiveness of policies. Further, the law makes a commitment to provide support for victims, including free legal assistance and expedited proceedings.

In the last several years, a number of other Latin American countries have passed similar laws, broadening the manner in which they will pursue the elimination of violence against women, and addressing the widespread social and cultural patterns of gender violence. Supporters of Argentina's new law are optimistic, but note that sufficient government funding will be necessary for success.

Compiled from: Marcela Valente, ARGENTINA: Bold New Law on Violence Against Women, Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS) (12 March 2009); ARGENTINA: Bold New Law on Violence Against Women, Women's Media Center (13 March 2009).