NGO Response to Femicide

last updated September 5, 2008

Women’s NGOs in Mexico and Latin America have been among the most active advocates against the crime of femicide, using the term to attract more attention to the brutal killings of women and girls occurring in their countries. Some of the organizations in the region working on the issue of femicide include CEFEMINA in Costa Rica, the Mexican Commission for the Protection and Defense of Human Rights, the Center for Legal Action on Human Rights/Network to Oppose Violence against Women (Guatemala), and the Women’s Studies Center – Honduras (CEM-H). The range of activities these organizations engage in a range of activities including: direct service to women affected by violence, public education, advocacy and lobbying for legal reform, and human rights advocacy on behalf of individuals.

In Turkey, civil society organizations have been actively advocating against violence against women in recent years. KA-MER, an organization based in Diyarbakir with branches throughout the country, is working on preventing honor killings. The Special Rapporteur also cites media reports of a campaign in September 2005 aimed against the suicides of young women. Young women took to the streets declaring that they “do not want to be victims of traditional values,” according to the Special Rapporteur.

The Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) is a well-known women’s organizations in the country. The organization provides support to female victims of war and other atrocities and advocates against the brutal murders of women in Afghanistan.

In the United States, some NGOs publish femicide reports to call attention to the issue. For example, in Minnesota, the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, has published nineteen reports on femicides in Minnesota beginning in the year 1989. NGOs may also be involved in “shadow reporting” to the major international and regional human rights treaty bodies, which is another way to call attention to human rights issues by supplementing a government’s report to a treaty body.