Mexico to spend nearly $4 bln to tackle violence against women

by Lola

I found this little tidbit tucked away in a CHINESE English-language website, China View, the Mathaba News Agency site from GREAT BRITAIN and All Headlines based in, and I might be mistaken, INDIA. The fact that this groundbreaking news in a country known for its massive gender gap made it into these three news services and, according to my Google search, MAYBE a couple of others, is indeed disturbing. Especially since this week’s issue of Time magazine published a note on the annual list generated by the Swiss-based World Economic Forum that ranks countries on the base of gender equality (it measures the discrepancies between men and women in four categories: educational attainment; economic participation and opportunity; political empowerment; and health and survival) and Mexico came in at a dismal 93. (In case you were interested, the US came in at 31 right above Kasakhstan at 32. No joke.)

Here’s what the Mexican Government sent out to… not very many places:

“The Mexican government will spend 43.4 billion pesos (3.95 billion U.S. dollars) in efforts to eliminate violence against women in 2008, the National Women’s Agency (Inmujeres) said on Tuesday.

This is the largest expenditure the government has ever undertaken to curb violence against women, said Rocio Garcia Gaytan, the president of Inmujeres.

However, she said the money was not enough to finally end the problem in Mexico, where two in three women fall victim to physical violence.

Violence against women is caused by inequalities in power relations in Mexican culture, which she said is hard to eradicate. More efforts should be done to protect women and political will is needed to train civil servants and the people, she said.

Nevertheless, Gaytan noted an improvement in gender equality in the last decade, saying that an increased number of victims have stepped forward to report violence.”

You wanna know what the scary part about this is? I went to the Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres site (INMUJERES), the government office in charge of women’s rights in Mexico, and found a press release and the amount was incorrect (“7 mil 24.8 milliones de pesos” I don’t think translates into 43.4 billion pesos but someone help me please with my math) plus it was released five days ago to zero fanfare.

Why this wasn’t picked up on more channels and heralded as a triumph for women’s rights is disturbing. It’s not even on Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women page, even though has their logo on their page. Am I missing something here? Can somebody please help me out?

The seriousness of this issue is not in doubt, here, but the way the news is being treated is. Yes, I’m not a happy camper. I’m a confused and angry little camper. Comments are very welcome.