NICARAGUA: Nicaragua Advances in Combating Violence Against Women

Friday, June 1, 2012
Central America
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Endless economic and military interference by the U-S and former European colonial powers has resulted in years and years of instability in Central America.

Violence is common and the homicide rate soars above the global average. And it's the region's women who bear the largest brunt of the violence.

Femicide, or the murder of women because of their gender is the tip of the iceberg. In Guatemala for example some estimates put the number of such murders last year at 705.

Nicaragua fares much better and now it will become the latest country in the region to specifically recognize femicide and all other forms of violence against women as a crime after the Comprehensive Violence Against Women Act, otherwise known as law 799, was almost unanimously passed in Parliament.

A wide range of women's rights and grassroots organizations have hailed this new law as a major victory for Nicaraguan women.

It is not just impunity from recourse by the authorities that allows perpetration of violence against women to become so engrained in every day life the world over. But also the implicit acceptance by society that such brutality is normal and justified.

In order for this law to have any real effect, it will be the responsibility of all Nicaraguans to change behaviors and attitudes, to ensure the future safety of women, families and communities.