Argentina is a South American country with a vibrant culture and scenic views. In recent years, the feminist movement has taken root in Argentina, challenging elements of government and culture that have long been failing Argentinian women. Argentina has made great strides toward positive change and equality but the country still experiences high rates of femicide — gender-based hate crimes that result in the intentional killing of females. Despite the hurdles the country has faced with regard to women’s rights in Argentina, the country is making efforts to create a more inclusive Argentina.
5 Facts About Women’s Rights in Argentina
- Argentina granted women the right to vote in 1947. Though Argentina was not the first South or Central American country to grant women the right to vote, it was one of the earlier countries in the region to allow women the right to stand for election. The country legalized female representation in government in the same year it legalized women’s rights to vote on September 29, 1947.
- Argentina has high rates of female leadership. Argentina ranks second in South America on the percentage of women in parliament. It also ranks 17th in the world for the same metric. Argentina actually has a higher percentage of women in parliament than many countries often thought of as leading in female empowerment such as Belgium and the Netherlands. Women’s rights in Argentina still need improvement, however, female political participation is definitely a strong suit.
- Argentina is taking action against femicide and violence against women. The National Action Plan to Prevent and End Violence against Women (2017-2019) launched following the 2015 Global Leaders’ Meeting where Argentina committed to working toward improved gender equality. The plan creates a framework for making policy change to improve the protection and prevention of violence against women. It also creates a system for monitoring the success of potential actions. To end trafficking and exploitation and strengthen victim protection, Argentina created a femicide registry and a council.
- Femicide remains an issue in the age of COVID-19. According to the Women’s Office of the Supreme Court of Justice, one Argentinian woman is killed every 32 hours. Though Argentina does not experience the highest rate of femicide in South America, it ranks among the highest rates globally with 298 femicides in 2020. The creation of a hotline in 2018 aimed to assist victims of gender-based violence. The hotline has received more than 169,014 calls, expressing the necessity for these types of services. In response to these issues, Argentina has committed to addressing violence against women to achieve the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. One way Argentina has committed to action is by joining the U.N. Spotlight initiative, a global campaign focused on combating gender-based violence worldwide. This commitment aims to improve women’s rights in Argentina.
- #NiUnaMenos. Beginning in 2015, #NiUnaMenos (Not One Less) was born as a movement against femicide when Argentinian women gathered in Buenos Aires to protest the gender-based killings. The movement grew to encompass not only a call to end femicide but also a campaign to bring awareness to other forms of female discrimination in Argentina. #NiUnaMenos brought attention to violence and abuse toward women, most often in domestic environments that a partner has perpetuated, as well as economic inequality that disproportionately impacts females. The movement called upon policymakers to address the widening pay gap as well as the high female unemployment rate. The work of #NiUnaMenos has been largely successful as President Alberto Fernández and his administration have acknowledged the grievances the group has highlighted and pledged to create policy change to improve women’s rights in Argentina.
While violence toward women and femicide are issues in Argentina, the progress of the country to combat those challenges is a promising start toward eliminating them. Through the continued work of Argentina’s government, women’s rights in Argentina should continuously improve.
– Jazmin Johnson