Students show solidarity with women-led protests in Mexico

Lauren Grobe

Women in Mexico disappeared from the public eye Monday in a nationwide demonstration called “A Day Without Women.”

For Mexican women, “A Day Without Women” was a strike against femicide, or the killing of a woman based on her gender, by staying in their homes to show Mexico how the country would function without them. Meanwhile, students at the University passed out purple ribbons and pamphlets to stand in solidarity with those women.

Journalism sophomore Jimena De la Mora and social work sophomore Maria De Los Angeles Villarreal organized a protest to demonstrate their frustration with the killings in Mexico and to honor the women who were striking. About 10 women are killed each day in Mexico, according to the Mexico office of United Nations Women.

“Women are outraged due to the inactivity or lack of response the government has (about) the femicide and killings of innocent girls and women that’s happening in the country,” Villarreal said.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been criticized for his response and lack of action regarding femicides. In February, Obrador said the protests were a distraction against his social programs and condemned earlier protests.

“This issue has been manipulated a lot in the media,” the president said, according to the Associated Press. “I don’t want the issue just to be women’s killings.”

Villarreal said she wanted to do something similar to the strike to support women protesting in Mexico that would be meaningful while living in the United States.

 



“If I were to participate in this, not going to school, not going to work like women are doing in Mexico, it would not have the same impact because people wouldn’t know why we’re doing it,” Villarreal said.

De la Mora said femicides are not a new problem in Mexico. They happen across the world, and she said she wants to do her part to raise awareness.

“We’re trying to target anyone who can hear us, really,” De la Mora said. “The women in Mexico are taking action by doing this protest, and we just want to be a part of it.”

Alessandra Russo, communication and leadership sophomore, participated in the student protest and said this issue is important to her even though she does not currently live in Mexico.

“It feels good to be doing something from afar,” Russo said. “We don’t have to be there to participate.”

The recent brutal killings of a 7-year-old girl and a 25-year-old woman in Mexico City incited frustration among the people in Mexico, De la Mora said. She said she is scared by how violent the killings are.

“It’s the fact that they’re not just being killed,” De la Mora said. “They’re literally being cut up. They’re being strangled to death. It makes me wonder, where is all this anger (from men) coming from?”

Fernanda Izquierdo, international relations and global studies senior, said she participated in the campus protest because she was in a position of privilege to raise awareness.

“People in privilege need to be the voice for those who are often overlooked by society,” Izquierdo said. “Just because I don’t know any of the women who were brutally murdered, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel for them.”