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Women and Gender Equality Minister: Venezuela has considerably reduced violence against women

Rigoberta Menchú to speak in Caracas about gender equality

According to Andreína Tarazón, Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Venezuela has considerably reduced violence against women thanks to Bolivarian laws.  She made this declaration in observance of International Day to End Violence against Women.

“In these 14 years of Bolivarian Revolution, we have progressed with new legal tools and new public policies that not only punish violence against women, but they also help prevent it,” she highlighted in an interview on VTV, Venezuela’s state television channel.

After the Organic Law for the Right of Women to Live Free from Violence was passed in 2006, “Venezuela experienced a qualitative jump in reducing statistics related to violence.  In comparing 2012 to 2013, there is a substantial reduction in the rates and complaints,” she said.

“Gender violence is a complex topic.  Not all victims file complaints because of cultural pressures… Venezuela is not among the countries with the highest rates of violence against women, like Spain or Mexico, where the statistics are alarming,” she indicated.

Venezuela counts on 108 special prosecutors and 50 courts that handle cases of violence against women.

Minister Tarazón also stressed the importance of popular participation, particularly by women, in organizations such as the Women’s Movement for Peace and Life in order to organize and fight against this social ill.  “We want to keep calling on the public to file complaints, as the law establishes,” she expressed.

The International Day to End Violence against Women was founded by the United Nations General Assembly on December 17, 1999.

The day chosen was November 25 in commemoration of the murder of the three Mirabal sisters in Dominican Republic in 1960.  These activists opposed Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship, who ordered their deaths.

Rigoberta Menchú in Caracas

On Tuesday, November 26th, the indigenous leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú will speak in Caracas in an event titled “Gender Equality and Equity as Fundamental Values for Peace: A Life Experience.”

The event will take place at 8:30 a.m.  in the main auditorium of Venezuela’s Supreme Court. It is open to the public.

Progress in Venezuela

In Venezuela, the Organic Law for the Right of Women to Live Free from Violence protects the rights to life, dignity and property, as well as the right to physical, psychological, sexual and legal integrity for women.  It also protects gender quality and offers victims of violence the right to receive comprehensive information and counsel.

This law specifies 19 crimes of gender violence that includes physical, psychological, property, sexual and obstetric violence, the latter of which refers to mistreatment of women in labor.

Laura Franco, the director of Inamujer, Venezuela’s National Institute for Women, explained that they have been empowering citizen organization through the Women’s Movement for Peace and Life, an initiative aimed at creating harmony and peaceful coexistence in the country.

She noted that the goal for 2014 is to build a national network of community defenders of the human rights of women.

The Inamujer director also announced that in the first few days of December, her organization is set to launch two comprehensive centers for women’s service and training as part of a pilot program.  These first two centers will be in Maracaibo and Caracas, and she said that they have the resources to set up another 12 centers in 2014 throughout the country.

AVN / Press – Venezuelan Embassy in the US / November 25, 2013

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