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Women in Argentina and Peru take to streets to protest gender-based violence

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Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 06:57 GMT, Nov 26, 2015 |
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Protesters took to the streets in Buenos Aires on Wednesday (November 25) to call for an end to gender-based violence in the South American country.

According to local women’s rights group, Casa del Encuentro, Argentina reported an alarming 277 femicides – the killing of a woman by a man because of her gender – last year alone.

Women gathered outside the national congress waving banners and shouting and chanting.

Across the country there have been 1,808 femicides since 2008 and the problem shows little sign of abating. There have been more than 250 femicides every year since 2010, with a peak of 295 in 2013.

The protest came just months after a massive demonstration against femicide- organised under the same campaign “Not One More Victim” – took place in the Argentine capital in June.

Valeria Sainz Morena knowsn about gender violence first hand. She was attacked by her ex-husband recently.

Meanwhile, a similar protest was taking place in Lima Peru.

As demonstrators marched, outside of the national congress a handful of women bared their chests, decorated their bodies with paint and shouted and chanted as police attempted to disperse them.

Sandra de La Cruz, a spokesperson from an organization against gender violence called “Let Me Decide”, said progress was being made.

“This situation brings us two very important things. The first is that yesterday the bill to deceiminalize abortion in cases of rape – which gives backing to the thousands of victims of sexual violence in our country – was filed. And secondly, an historical agenda that has the women’s movement and the human rights movement is justice and reparation for the women that have been sterilized during the administration of Alberto Fujimori,” she said.

Some 350,000 women and 25,000 men were sterilized as part of the mid-1990s program, pushed through by former president Alberto Fujimori who argued that a lower birth rate was crucial to eliminating poverty in Peru.

Women were often threatened with a fine or prison if they refused to be sterilized, according to activists who view the campaign as one of Peru’s biggest human rights scandals.

Earlier this year, top state prosecutor Luis Antonio Landa Burgos ordered a criminal investigation to be re-opened into the forced sterilizations – the third time such an investigation has been re-opened since 2009.