Panel Discussion

Violence Against Women in Latin America

In cooperation with Amnesty International, Kogruppe Mexico Zentralamerika




07:00 p.m. (CET)


08:15 p.m. (CET)

1 / 2

  • ***Texto en español ver abajo*** El evento se llevará a cabo en español con traducción simultánea al alemán.

    Gender-based violence against women and girls is commonplace in Latin America. It manifests itself in many guises, such as physical as well as psychological aggression, rape, disappearances, threats, and murder. It takes place at home, in public spaces, and in state institutions. Those affected endure severe and long-lasting consequences.

    This problem is well known both to the international community and to individual states. However, in many countries there is still a gap between the state’s upholding of obligatory protection and the lived reality of many women. According to the United Nations, due to curfews and the social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic the risk of women and girls becoming victims of domestic violence has increased significantly.

    Mexico has stood out in official statistics for years. On average, 10 women become murder victims in Mexico every day. In 2020, 3,723 women were killed in the country but only 940 murders were investigated as feminicides. In many cases, the state shares responsibility for violence against women because of inadequate protection measures and these crimes being poorly investigated. The perpetrators rarely face prosecution.

    In recent years women in Mexico, as in other Latin American countries, have increasingly come together to fight gender-based violence. They make assaults public, demand measures of state protection, and look for ways to network with each other. Despite this, there is no end to the spiral of violence against women there. Amnesty International has documented how state security forces in Mexico have responded with violence to protests by women. They have used excessive and unnecessary force, carried out unlawful as well as arbitrary arrests, and committed gender-based physical and verbal assaults.

    In our cooperation event, the invited experts will talk about the extent of gender-based violence in Latin America, the organisation of women, and the role of state actors. Speakers: Dr. Merike Blofield is Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies and Professor of Political Science at Universität Hamburg.

    Edith Olivares Ferreto is Executive Director of the Mexican Section of Amnesty International. Welcome and Moderation: Anna-Lena Glesinski is Co-Spokesperson of the Amnesty International Mexico and Central America Coordination Group.

    Indi-Carolina Kryg is a Doctoral Researcher at the GIGA and member of Amnesty International.

    Violencia contra las mujeres en América Latina

    En América Latina la violencia contra las mujeres y las niñas es habitual. La violencia de género adopta muchas formas tales como amenazas, agresiones físicas y psicológicas, violaciones, desapariciones y asesinatos. Tiene lugar en el hogar, en espacios públicos o en instituciones estatales. Los efectos en las víctimas son graves y duraderos.

    Este problema es bien conocido por la comunidad internacional y por los Estados. Sin embargo, en muchos países sigue existiendo un desfase entre la función protectora obligatoria del Estado y la realidad de muchas mujeres. De acuerdo a Naciones Unidas, debido a los toques de queda y a las consecuencias sociales de la pandemia, ha aumentado el riesgo de que mujeres y niñas sean víctimas de la violencia doméstica.

    México lleva años destacando en las estadísticas oficiales. Cada día un promedio de diez mujeres son víctimas de asesinato en México. En 2020, 3.723 mujeres fueron asesinadas allí, pero sólo 940 asesinatos fueron investigados por las autoridades como feminicidios. En muchos casos el Estado comparte la responsabilidad de la violencia contra las mujeres debido a las inadecuadas medidas de protección y falta de investigación. Los agresores rara vez son perseguidos.

    En los últimos años las mujeres de México, como las de otros países latinoamericanos, se han organizado cada vez más para luchar contra la violencia de género. Hacen públicas las agresiones, exigen medidas de protección del Estado y buscan formas de ayudarse entre sí. Pero la espiral de violencia contra las mujeres no tiene fin. Amnistía Internacional ha documentado que, en México, las fuerzas de seguridad del Estado respondieron con violencia a las protestas de las mujeres, llevando a cabo detenciones ilegales y arbitrarias y cometiendo agresiones verbales y físicas por motivos de género.

    En nuestro evento de cooperación las expertas invitadas hablarán sobre la magnitud de la violencia de género en América Latina, la organización de las mujeres y el papel de los actores estatales.

    Ponentes: Dr. Merike Blofield es Directora del GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies del GIGA y profesora de Ciencias Políticas de la Universität Hamburg.

    Edith Olivares Ferreto es Directora Ejecutiva de la Sección Mexicana de Amnistía Internacional. Bienvenida y moderación: Anna-Lena Glesinski es coportavoz del Grupo de Coordinación de México y Centroamérica de Amnistía Internacional.

    Indi-Carolina Kryg es Doctoral Researcher del GIGA y miembro de Amnistía Internacional.


    Online event


    Spanish (with simultaneous translation into German)


    We would like to ask you to register for this event. The registration is free of charge. You will receive your personal participation link and further information by e-mail before the online event starts. If you do not receive this email right before the event (please also check your spam folder), please contact us: By registering, you agree to the GIGAs data protection guidelines. We will update our data protection notice as necessary. You can find the current version at:

    The GIGA is taking the coronavirus situation very seriously. Until further notice, all our events take place exclusively in digital space and Team GIGA is working from home. We are pleased to be able to offer you all GIGA products without restriction.

    GIGA Focus Global | 6/2021

    The Shadow Pandemic: Policy Efforts on Gender-Based Violence during COVID-19 in the Global South

    With the pandemic, the risk of violence against women and children, especially within the home, increased further as people sheltered at home at the same time that they faced great financial and emotional stress. The authors of this GIGA Focus assess government efforts to address and treat gender-based violence.

    Lancet Global Health, The | 01/2022

    A Diagonal and Social Protection Plus Approach to meet the Challenges of the COVID-19 Syndemic: Cash Transfers and Intimate Partner Violence Interventions in Latin America

    The authors of this paper argue that building programmatic linkages between social protection platforms, particularly cash transfers, and IPV prevention, mitigation, and response services, creates synergies that can promote freedom from both poverty and violence.

    Prof. Dr. Felicia Knaul

    Renzo Calderon-Anyosa

    Ass. Prof. Dr. Amber Peterman

    Dr. Juliana Martínez Franzoni

    Megan O'Donnell

    Dr. Flavia Bustreo

    Social Protection

    Social protection shields people against health crisis and other shocks and can help people overcome poverty traps. We do research on a wide range of crucial social, economic, and political issues related to the design, scope, and implementation challenges of social protection programs.

    GIGA Forum | 20/10/2021

    The Shadow Pandemic: Policy Efforts Addressing Gender-Based Violence During COVID-19

    In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic the risk of gender-based violence, especially within the home, has increased and Governments around the world are addressing this problem differently. In this GIGA Forum/GIGA Talk, experts discussed the effect of related government responses and offer policy recommendations. Video of event now online.


    Sign up to receive email notifications about GIGA activities

    Social Media

    Follow us