Thousands took to the streets yesterday in several cities across Argentina to demand more and improved public social, health, educational and judicial policies with a gender perspective.
Feminists in Buenos Aires City gathered in front of Congress as they have done every year since 2015 when the first Ni una menos march was held. However, each city and town had its own agenda: while in Río Grande in Tierra del Fuego, the demand was centered on guaranteeing legal abortion in public hospitals, in Rosario activists stressed the harm that violence in the city is doing to the lives of women and children.
Marches across the country
In Rosario, the march was led by a flag carried by representatives of different organizations with the slogan “Reparations law for travesti-trans dictatorship survivors” which marked the central demand of the day.
Unlike its direct English translation, travesti in Argentina is a gender identity with deep political roots that is worn with pride.
María José Poncino of Movimiento Evita and Ni Una Menos Rosario, told Télam that they were “back on the streets because inequality persists in society and this situation has worsened with a fierce debt from 2017 and with the pandemic”.
“We demand the full implementation of the [Integral Sexual Education Law] ESI, the Micaela Law [that sets a compulsory training in gender-based perspective for public employees], the effective implementation of the abortion law, the economic recognition of the promoters,” she said.
“We never grow tired of demanding justice with a gender, popular and community perspective — we continue to organize in the streets, to continue organizing ourselves, building this path of equality,” she said.
Journalists Almudena Munera and Virginia Giacosa, and the travesti referent, Michelle Vargas Lobos, read a statement that demanded a halt to all types of gender-based violence, from discrimination to those spread through media, in hospitals, in politics, at work, and on the streets.
The document highlighted the violence experienced in Rosario due to drug trafficking and stressed that “It is the lives of our children that are taken by the disputes of drug crime”.
Hundreds of women also marched through the streets of the cities of Ushuaia and Río Grande, in Tierra del Fuego, demanding an end to femicides and the effective implementation of the law on voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVE) there with posters and banners, chanting songs.
Leaders of feminist groups such as La Hoguera, Ni una menos TDF and Mujeres Cooperativistas, as well as members of soup kitchens, professional associations and representatives of political parties gathered at the headquarters of the provincial Superior Court of Justice in the capital Ushuaia, and then marched through the city center.
“We demand that the provincial Legislature urgently deals with the gender parity law in the province,” said the document read in Río Grande, the second largest city in the province.
They also demanded that the Family and Minority Courts “respond to the demands for food quotas,” and the full implementation of the travesti-trans labor quota law in government agencies.
They also requested the “urgent regulation” of the law that created a group of lawyers to advise women victims of violence.
A specific complaint was the situation of the application of the IVE law in the Regional Hospital of Río Grande, after all its doctors declared themselves “conscientious objectors”.
“Pregnant women have the right to access to legal, safe and free abortion, enshrined in Law 27.610. In our province this right is obstructed”, they complained.
“This year we want to reinforce the importance of eradicating political violence against women and diversity,” said provincial gender leader Amira Maslup in official statements.
“It is a form of discrimination that manifests itself through verbal aggression, defamation, threats, and other forms of harassment directed specifically at women who participate in political life and decision-making.”
In Mar del Plata in Buenos Aires province, meanwhile, thousands of women marched through the streets of the city center against gender violence and femicides for five blocks, calling for increased budgets from the national, provincial, and municipal governments to implement different programs to eradicate it and to provide assistance to victims.
This year the slogan of the Women’s Movement of Mar del Plata and Batan was “With the IMF adjustment and Montenegro’s scam there is not one less”. Incumbent Guillermo Montenegro’s government in the coastal city is being asked to provide budget allocations to protect victims and create special programs.
To the south of the province in Bahía Blanca, the event began at 3 p.m. with an open radio in the Plaza Rivadavia, in front of the Municipal Palace, followed by the mobilization of hundreds of women through the streets of this city.
With banners reading “Ni Una Menos, the state is responsible”, the event was attended by members of the Women’s Movement of Bahía Blanca, Pan y Rosas, among others, along with relatives of victims of femicide and mothers’ organizations.
In Rio Negro province, meanwhile, more than 500 people from social organizations, students, feminist organizations of the Viedma Patagones region, gathered under the slogan “We want us alive, free and without debt. With this judiciary there is no Ni Una Menos.“
The rally began at 4.30 p.m. in front of the provincial judiciary, where the prevailing demands were the liberation of four Mapuche women and their children —were imprisoned after a raid in Villa Mascardi, near Bariloche —, the implementation of the travesti and trans labor quota, for a judicial reform with gender and transgender perspectives that protects women and LGBTI+ people.
They then marched through the main streets of the provincial capital to congregate in San Martín square, where they held a music festival.
Finally, they explained that “rights are won in the streets. This year we also marched”.
In Mendoza province, protesters marched under the slogan “We are still in mourning” to commemorate eight years since the first #NiUnaMenos demonstration.
The meeting point was at Avenida San Martin and Colón, in the provincial capital, where a large column of about eight blocks made up of social and human rights organizations and collectives marched with the aim of raising awareness and making society aware of the #NiUnaMenos struggle with photos of the victims carried on various banners by the participants.
During the march, which began around 5 p.m., led by the Niunamenos Mendoza collective, family members and friends of femicide victims that have occurred in the province so far in 2023 also participated.
The province has seen four femicides this year, the first occurred in January — Yesica Olguín (33), in the town of Las Heras.
“We are still in mourning,” “We take care of ourselves fighting and we unite again with strength in a collective cry,” “We want to see ourselves alive and free”, were some of the chants that made up the massive cry for Ni Una Menos with no shortage of flags, drums, and banners of the victims.