Essay on Feminicide, Gender Violence Against Women

5262 Words 22 Pages

Ciudad Juárez
March 13, 2015

Femicide and Structural Violence against Women in

By: Craig Serpa


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Much research has been produced attempting to describe and subvert femicide in Ciudad Juárez, but perhaps the most accurate description of the gendered violence can be found in an American political cartoon. A maquiladora, or Mexican border assembly/ processing plant, stands alone among rolling hills littered with gravestones in the shape of the symbol of Venus. The graves extend to the horizon line in all directions, seemingly endless. From the viewer’s position in the lower right corner of the cartoon they can discern details on the nearest grave: the top arch of the
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In fact, the cartoon only strays from reality by suggesting that the “usual suspects” have been brought to justice. This paper will examine how the convergence of neoliberal economic policy and workplace gender norms has led to the disappearance and murder of an unprecedented number of women in Ciudad Juárez between 1990 and 2010. This paper will first explain and analyze the economic changes leading up to and following NAFTA, unpacking the economic reforms that have created structural violence. Lack of government support by way of inconclusive reporting procedures means that researchers do not have the viable data necessary to implement lawful action to protect the women of the bordering cities. We will then explain how the hiring of nearly all-female workforces in Maquilas conflicted with


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traditional gender roles. The final portion of the paper will show how these two bigger structural issues manifested themselves in direct violence against working women. The emergence of neoliberal economic policies and dysfunction within the Mexican judicial system has led to structural and direct violence against working women in Juarez. For purposes of this research, we are defining structural violence as the violence that occurs when basic needs are denied by some social structure or social institution. We will demonstrate how disparate institutions and systems contribute to structural violence

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