03/08/11 – International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th of every year in commemoration of women’s economic, political and social achievements throughout history. The United Nations in particular makes a great effort to bring about political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide. More than 3,500 women participated in Mexico’s official ceremony held in Centro Banamex this morning in which Calderón’s wife, Margarita Zavala, was also present. In a speech given by President Calderón, he addressed the fact that Mexico’s society unfortunately is one full of “masculine pride.” He also stated that in this society, “there exist prejudices and attitudes that have hindered the development of women. Many women are ignored, discriminated against, violently abused and murdered.” Calderón urged the heads of federal agencies to secure gender equality in each of their respective areas.
In honor of the holiday, civil organizations have been pushing for legal action to be taken in order to protect women against violent crimes. The recently created civil organization “Mujeres Hoy y Siempre” (Women Today and Always), are pushing for the State of Mexico (Edomex) to send out an alert regarding the increased violence against women. The organization is made up of academicians, alumni, and specialists from the “Facultad de Estudios Superiores de Acatlán de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México” (UNAM). The non-governmental organization has cited statistics from a comparative study conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office for the State of Mexico (PGJEM), which states that 922 cases of violent assassinations against women and offenses to female minors have been reported to authorities from 2005-2010. While most cases of femicide are found in Ciudad Juárez, 51% of the 922 reported cases were found in 10 specific towns in Mexico. These towns include Ecatepec, Nezahualcóyotl, Tlalnepantla, Toluca, Chimalhuacan, Naucalpan, Tultitlán, Ixtapaluca, Valle de Chalco and Cuautitlán Izcalli. From 2005-2010, 488 of reported violent murders against women were committed in these areas.