San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Activities Call for End to Violence against Women

Representatives from the National Women’s Institute (INAMU), rights organizations and other groups hopped aboard a train and traveled through San José last week carrying a message about eliminating violence against women.

Passengers danced amid traditional music and a masquerade, or cimarrona, Nov. 22, as the train traveled from Pavas, in western San José, to the Atlantic Station in eastern San José, as part of the activities in honor of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Toward Women Nov. 25.

At the former Customs building, near the station, craftswomen set up stands to sell their products and INAMU officials handed out pamphlets about women’s rights in Costa Rica. They also urged approval of a bill that would create harsher punishment for acts of violence against women.

Violence – whether physical, sexual, psychological or economic – can cause “severe health problems, diminishing women’s economic productivity and their capacity to participate in public life and affecting their individual liberty,” said a statement from the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights (IIDH) released last Friday.

The institute said “femicide,” the intentional and violent killing of women, is increasing and “acquiring the characteristics of a pandemic in several countries in the region, particularly in Mexico and several Central American countries.”

Another activity meant to draw attention to the ramifications of domestic violence was a parade of preschool children on wooden horses through the Central Park in Heredia, north of San José, Nov. 24.

The Institute for Women’s Studies at Universidad Nacional (UNA) and Heredia’s Inter-Institutional and Communal Network against Violence toward Women.

The United Nations declared Nov. 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in 1999. The date was selected in honor of the Mirabal sisters, three Dominican women who were assassinated that day in 1960, during General Rafael Leónidas Trujillo’s dictatorship.


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