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133 Women Being Killed By Their Partners Daily; Know What Is Femicide And Countries Which Have Declared It Crime

Irish writer John Cory is often credited with introducing the term "femicide," which was later adopted by feminist writer Diana Russell to describe heinous crimes against women, particularly instances of murder driven by extreme hatred or gender-based violence.

Edited By : simran rajpal | Updated: May 16, 2024 12:04 IST
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Many countries are considering and even enacting laws to classify the murder of women as a separate crime due to the increasing hatred leading to femicide. Femicide, is a type of hate crime, targets women specifically, regardless of caste or religion, resulting in the need for this distinction in legal frameworks.

In his book published in 1801, Irish writer John Cory is credited with first mentioning the term femicide. Subsequently, feminist writer Diana Russell utilized it to characterize extreme hate crimes against women, specifically murder. Examples include killing a girl for practicing a different religion or engaging in relationships disapproved by her family, or resorting to murder for wearing clothing of her own choice. This form of barbarity stands apart from other types of murder due to its foundation in sheer hatred.

Since its passage in 2013, Resolution 69 by the UN has spurred many countries to enact laws aimed at taking stringent action against gender-based murder of women.

Costa Rica, a Caribbean country, made history as the first nation to establish femicide as a distinct criminal offense. Notably, femicide rates are disproportionately high in Latin America and the Caribbean. Following the implementation of this law, a man convicted of killing his wife or partner in Costa Rica faces a prison sentence ranging from 20 to 35 years. The country has also enacted various regulations to penalize men who restrict the freedom of their partners or spouses.

Countries Which Have Made Femicide A Crime 

Eighteen out of thirty-three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have now classified homicide as a hate crime.

Cyprus and Malta updated their criminal codes two years ago to impose more severe penalties for gender-related murders.

Croatia, a South-Eastern European nation, recently designated femicide as a distinct criminal offense.

The punishment for homicide, which is nearly double that of murder, ranges from 10 to 12 years.

Queen Mary University of London conducted research on countries that have implemented laws regarding femicide. Their findings indicate that in most jurisdictions, the scope of homicide was previously limited to killings of wives or partners, but it now includes all women present in the household.

The researchers argue that this category should encompass not only intentional killings but also deaths resulting from violent acts, such as female genital mutilation, which can lead to fatalities. They believe that all such gender-based violence, whether intentional or unintentional, should fall under this category.

Costa Rica recently revised its definition of femicide once again to include strict penalties for the murder of women outside of romantic relationships.

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First published on: May 16, 2024 11:31 AM IST

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