Women in Mexico plan work strike amid gender violence outbreak

Women in Mexico plan work strike amid gender violence outbreak
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Women in Mexico are planning a massive nationwide work strike to draw attention to the stunning rate of gender violence in the country. 

The strike, scheduled for Monday, follows a series of disturbing murders in the country, including a 25-year-old woman in Mexico City last month who was stabbed to death, cut up and partially skinned. Days after, the body of a 7-year-old girl was found mutilated in a plastic bag in the same city.

Journalists and protesters have been critical of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador as well as Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, the city’s first female mayor, over their response to the crisis. 

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A survey by El Financiero, a Spanish-language subsidiary of Bloomberg, found 82 percent of Mexicans disapprove of López Obrador's response, coinciding with a dip in his approval ratings. 

A national study found 4.8 million Mexican women have experienced some form of gendered violence, with 1.3 million citing physical aggression. The same study found that though less women in the country die of gun violence than men, more than 25 percent of murders of women happen in their own home, compared to 10 percent for men.

“These data point to a terrible fact: The home is not a safe place for an enormous proportion of women,” the security analyst Alejandro Hope wrote in the Mexican newspaper El Universal. 

Women have long argued that obtaining restraining orders against abusive partners, which can help prevent domestic violence, is exceptionally difficult in Mexico. 

Schools in the Mexican states of Coahuila and Morelos have canceled classes the day of the strike, El Universal reported this week. Corporate giants such as Walmart, Ford, the Grupo Salinas banking and media conglomerate, and the baked-goods giant Bimbo have joined a growing list of companies allowing female workers to participate in the strikes.

The strike is not the first demonstration women have made against the violence crisis: Since late last year, women have been protesting in Mexico City, spray-painting and breaking glass doors of government buildings.