Femicide of migrant women


Femicide is a grave and unacceptable violation of women’s and girls’ most basic human right to life. It is a leading cause of premature death of women globally. Although the rate of homicide has been on the decline across the world, the rate of femicide has remained the same, and, in some contexts, increased. According to Diana Russel who presented the term at the 1976 International Tribunal on Crimes against Women in Brussels, femicide applies to all forms of sexist killings “motivated by a sense of entitlement to or superiority over women, by pleasure or sadistic desires toward them, or by an assumption of ownership of women". The Latin American feminists defined femicide as “the misogynist killing of women by men;” “the mass killing of women committed by men based on their group superiority;” and “the extreme form of gender-based violence, understood as violence inflicted by men against women in their desire to obtain power, domination, and control.” The Latin American Model Protocol for the investigation of gender-related killings of women defines femicide as "the murder of women because they are women, whether it is committed within the family, a domestic partnership, or any other interpersonal relationship, or by anyone in the community, or whether it is perpetrated or tolerated by the state or its agents". Femicide is also broadly categorised by type, motivation and aggravating factors, including direct and indirect femicide, with different categories, such as intimate femicide, racist femicide, 'honour' based killing, femicide of girl-child and elderly women, femicide of lesbians, femicide of women in prostitution, femicide through organised crime and trafficking, femicide in conflict, among others. Globally, the intimate femicides make over 50 % of all sexist killings of women. Men kill women using different methods: one of the most common instruments of murder is a knife or sharp object. Other ways of killing include strangulation, hitting with blunt objects, hitting without a weapon, head injuries, causing to fall against a hard surface, setting on fire and burning women, as well as by secondary causes resulting from violent acts, including sexual assaults, rape, as well as Female Genital Mutilation. In Europe the research on femicide is not well documented and sporadic. While the International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes (ICCS) provides the framework for recording homicide and crime data according to various factors (e.g. sex of offender and victim, situational context, location, date, time and motive) very few countries collect the data on the circumstances surrounding femicidal killings of women and girls.

External Authors

European Network of Migrant Women
According to the official statistics in countries such as UK and France men kill two to three women every week. Reflecting the global pattern of misogynist murders most femicides are committed by current or former male partners, known as intimate femicide. Europe-wide, accoridng to the Eurostat data, the countries with the highest rates of women dying as a result of murder are Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia as well as such countries like Romania, Finland, Hungary. However, these statistics, even though disaggregated by sex, do not allow us to see how many women exactly died as a result of femicide or the type of femicide they became the victims of.




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