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In this month to consider the place of violence in our times, it should be noted that November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and December 6 is the International Day to End Femicide.

Femicide has been one of the leading killers of females ever since history has been recorded. So prevalent is the sad terror that only lately has there been a growing international movement to increase awareness, change societal attitudes, and make substantial changes in how femicides are treated criminally.

Recent Notable Femicides

Recently the death of 22-year-old Iranian Mahsa Amini raised the issue of femicide after she was found dead while detained. Her death sparked numerous angry protests in Iran and around the world with women burning their headscarves in a defiant act of resistance against the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code and those enforcing it.

Gulsum Kav, founder of We Will Stop Femicide, insists that “counting the bodies is the best place to start.” She began a campaign to stop femicide in 2010, the year after the dead body of a teenager, Munevver Karabulut, was found in a trash bin in Istanbul. It took police more than six months to track down the suspect, leading to protests on the streets of Istanbul. One of Gulsum’s goals was to understand how many murders take place in Turkey, in which the killer’s motive is gender-related.

You may remember Malala Yousafzai – a Pakistani female education activist and the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, awarded when she was 17. You may remember she was shot in the head in 2012 for promoting the education of young girls in Pakistan. In March of this year she wrote, “Please stop telling us how to dress” months ahead of September’s killing of Mahsa Amini due to not being “dressed properly.”

But femicide is not just a problem in the developing world, or a problem unique to Islamic nations; closer to home, in April of this year after several femicides in Quebec, Daniel J. Rowe interviewed Marie-Emmanuelle Gennesse, who is doing her master’s degree at Concordia University:

“Some people are not happy with the word femicide, (and) I have no idea why,” she said. “It’s not a homicide because it was a woman that was killed… There’s this barrier that some people are not comfortable to talk about. Women are killed because of their sex.”

Gennesse said that social media and the #metoo movement have helped to increase the visibility of the term and action to reduce femicide and other violence against women.”

Use of the term Femicide

“The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability said using the term femicide ‘can contribute to public awareness about and reduce tolerance toward violence against women. Public awareness can be further enhanced when root causes of femicide are identified.’

Gennesse called Quebec’s Bill 92 creating a specialized court for sexual and domestic violence is a step in the right direction, but far from a conclusive solution to the various problems.

The federal government’s fact sheet on inter-partner violence (IPV) says that nearly half (44 per cent) of women ‘reported experiencing some kind of psychological, physical or sexual abuse in the context of an intimate relationship in their lifetime.’

‘We know that not even 25 per cent of all cases get reported because women fear the response their going to get and the retribution they’re going to get from their male partners afterwards,’ said Gennesse. ‘They’re taking a huge risk for the tiny percentage of the women who tell people about it.’

She and others who study the subjects would like to see more training for those in power such as police, social workers, judges and elected officials.”

Where does Femicide Begin?

The fact is femicide begins in the coal vein heart of every human, and its first murder can start in the womb. Various conflicting feminist theories and neo-Marxist theories aside, the murder of women and girls is the suicide of society, and no amount of feminist moralizing and marches will change that.

We are not ready to admit that a society so ready and too willing to abort their female fetuses (relative to all the other abortions) is also a society too eager to euthanize their elders, and simply too inclined to use violence across the spectrum of issues.

We are a demented society that resists the One who made us for Himself:

You stir us to take pleasure in praising you because you have made us for yourself and our heart are restless until it rests in you.

St. Augustine

What insight do you have on femicide, and what actions do you take to prevent it?