The population perceives that gender violence has increased as never before in AMLO’s government.
MEXICO CITY (El País) – Violence against women in Mexico is a problem that everyone says they perceive. No one is oblivious to the daily drama that leaves an average of 10 fatal victims due to “machism”. Not to mention the rapes, which the National Institute of Statistics estimates at hundreds of thousands a year. Nothing much has changed in this regard, according to the citizens: 68% consider that gender violence has increased notably in the last year, and a similar percentage (62%) believes that the attitude of the President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, towards feminist movements is not being adequate.
This is the feeling of the population on the eve of 8-M, a date that Mexico relegates other issues related to equality to fight in the streets, the one they consider a priority: violence against women. A telephone survey conducted on the 4th and 5th of this month by Simo (Sistemas de Inteligencia en Mercados y Opinión) for EL PAÍS shows citizens’ discomfort in this aspect, a problem of which women are still more aware than men.
Both men and women consider that male violence is unacceptable. Still, the root of this problem and its consequences are not entirely clear among the population if we consider some of the answers they give. Almost 30% of women still believe that if a man continually mistreats his partner, it is the woman’s fault for allowing it. The perception that women are free to run away from abuse is still entrenched. At least, the vast majority rejects the idea that women deserve such abuse.
The data indicate that there is still a long way to go. Still, some aspects are taking hold: 71% of those consulted know that poverty is not the determining factor in the development of violence, although this is the message they have sometimes heard from their President, who likes to link the two problems. However, almost half of the population places alcohol and drugs as a trigger for abuse. Often they go together, yes, but experts know that violence against women is something transversal that responds to ancestral motivations that modern societies have not yet gotten rid of. It has been baptized with a word: patriarchy.
Citizens are aware that inequality is evident in many aspects of life. They notice it in job opportunities, where women (57%) know they are discriminated against; in access to health services, in the opportunities for justice to convict crimes (55% of those consulted notice this inequality); 38% of women also feel that they have more advantages in making decisions about their bodies.
The numerous feminist demonstrations, in line with the serious gender problems in Mexico, will have a culminating moment this Monday. Women’s Day was described as historic last year, with thousands of people crowding the route to the National Palace’s gates.
This time, the march is spurred on by recent political events that have greatly upset feminists, such as Salgado Macedonio’s retention as the governing party’s candidate for governor of Guerrero. Accused of two rapes, the Guerrero native has counted on the President of the Government’s unconditional support, against whom numerous female co-religionists have come out. A huge fence protects this year the National Palace.
57% of women disagree or strongly disagree that the President is the most feminist of all those who have governed Mexico so far, which his followers sometimes repeat. Men also reject that assertion, although four percentage points lower. It is consistent with the answers they give when asked if López Obrador is acting appropriately in the face of feminist movements. Slightly more than six out of ten respondents and almost six out of ten men reject the President’s actions in this regard.
As a result of the fed-up feeling and continuous and unpunished violence, feminist marches are always involved in Mexico’s controversy because activists paint monuments with their complaints or break windows as they pass by. These actions have been strongly condemned by different government levels, so much so that in the noise of this debate, the dramatic situation of many victims in this country is sometimes lost. But certain messages are getting through, judging by the responses that this survey reflects. Despite considering women’s violence to be very serious, a very high 48% of citizens condemn the movements or groups that organize these protest marches.
More than a quarter of the population (22% of women and 34% of men) do not know what is commemorated on March 8, which still indicates the existence of widespread misinformation about feminism and equality. Despite the enormous boom of the movement in recent years, something that had never been experienced in Mexico and proved the progress of citizenship in this regard, 86% of women have never participated in these public demonstrations. Nor will they do so this year. Estimates of the strike’s follow-up call for March 9 but perhaps less notoriously than in 2020 are similar.
The messages emanating from politics, especially from a president who addresses the population every day from his morning conference, are transcendent. Proof of this is the presence of women in public office, one of the banners constantly raised by López Obrador when asked about the feminism of the Government.
In this chapter, equality seems to be making headway since the vast majority believes that politics is a matter for both sexes. Six out of ten respondents are indifferent to whether the candidates are men or women.
The 8-M comes this year wrapped in an electoral campaign process. In June, the elections will elect almost 20,000 public officials, including mayors, councilors, deputies, and governors.
One opinion stands out for its broad consensus: 75% of those consulted believe that Salgado Macedonio should not compete for Guerrero’s governorship. Despite this, Morena, the Government’s party, continues to lead in voting intentions, with 31%, compared to its immediate competitor, the PAN, which is the 15% favorite. PAN, PRI, and PRD together, the alliance formed to fight Morena, do not manage to surpass it: they add up to 25%. This, even though the evaluation of the President’s management of the feminist movements, is notably negative. Even 59% of men consider that the President does not act adequately, while this evaluation rises to 66% among women.
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