translated from Spanish: NGO criticizes government response to sexist violence on pandemic

The National Network of Shelters for Women Victims of Violence published the alternative report it will present before the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) where, among other points, it criticizes that the Mexican government’s reaction to protect those exposed to confinement assaults on the COVID-19 pandemic was virtually zero.
The organization recalled in the document, entitled «From Speeches to Facts», that from January to June 2020 489 femicides were recorded, a 9.2% increase over 2019, and that the shelters served more than 15,000 women and children.
«Despite this, none of the bodies responsible for guaranteeing women’s rights have proposed a concrete programme or action plan to protect women before, during and after COVID-19,» she said.
«The first actions carried out by the government of Mexico were in April with the Campaign of INMUJERES ‘Equality from home’ promoting the communication of messages on the distribution of domestic work, breaking stereotypes and respecting the rights of workers; INPI has been responsible for the dissemination of COVID-19 information in indigenous languages; and the 911 line of relief was made available for women to report cases of violence. Not to mention the shameful Campaign Counts to 10, which not only lacks a gender perspective or human rights, perpetuates violence against women.»
The Network noted that not only the pandemic has not a clear reaction, but in general the government has not demonstrated a strategy, since nearly two years of government, the Prevention, Care, Sanctioning and Eradication of Violence against Women 2019-2024 Programme has not been published, which should be the main public policy instrument in this area.
Instead, an «Emerging Plan to Ensure women’s integrity, safety and life» was presented in March 2019, which actually only listed comprehensive measures without objectives, strategies and lines of action.

📣»From Speeches to Facts»
Towards CEDAW, the @RNRoficial creates a report to make visible the increase in sexist violence, the absence of policies, the PEF2020 and the stories of🚺 that have dealt with violence and COVID19
See it👉🏻https://t.co/CZAFjIVGI7 pic.twitter.com/04wR6iXrfT
— National Shelter Network, AC (@RNRoficial) August 27, 2020

Priority programs, but not for women
Regarding the money allocated to care for gender-based violence in the Federation’s 2020 Egress Budget (PEF), the alternative report lamented that a first distribution of money was made for shelters, but was not guaranteed for another similar mechanism, the Indigenous Women’s Houses and Afromexicana, which received only half the money.
Since the design of the FSP, she explained, an increase of 53% was announced in Annex 13, which combined equality actions between women and men and the eradication of violence, but included programmes that are not necessarily to guarantee women’s rights and do not have rules.
For example, the Senior Welfare Pension, which concentrates 38% of the money included in Annex 13, is included against the 2% involving the actions of The Gender Violence Alerts and Justice Centres for Women.
«While for every 100 women over the age of 65 there are 81 men, this does not mean that the situations of inequality and discrimination they are experiencing are taken into account, for example, how many women are caregivers, how much money is going to buy medicines? If direct transfer programmes have no gender perspective since their design and there is also poor access to public services, the benefits of these programmes are likely to be limited to reduce inequality gaps,» he stressed.
Another program that concentrates a good amount of resources in Annex 13, 8%, is that of Sowing Life. Although when analyzing the patterns, only 3 out of 10 beneficiaries are women, which shows that the trend that in rural areas only 32% own land has not changed.
Such programmes were saved from the austerity stockings taken this year by being considered essential and human rights.
But, according to the report, there are eight others that were not protected even if they are part of Annex 13, including victim care, which has 6% of the Budget of the Annex; Maternal, Sexual and Reproductive Health, with 2.3% of the resources; and subsidies for Shelters and External Care Centers for Victims of Violence, which take just 0.3% of the budget.
The Network regretted that they have been considered priorities and, therefore, have not suffered cuts, other expenses such as the development of the megaprojects of the Dos Bocas Refinery, the construction of the Maya Train and St. Lucia Airport, for which budget increases are even being requested around 1000% for the coming year.
The full report of the Shelter Network can be found here.
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Original source in Spanish

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