See Global Voices’ special coverage on how women are fighting against gender-based violence in Latin America.
Argentina was 10 days into mandatory quarantine as a preventive measure against COVID-19 when women joined forces to protest against the increase in reports of gender-based violence during the lockdown. On March 30, at 6.p.m, cities nationwide were enveloped by a ruidazo as women made noise from whistles, pots, pans, and other household objects from their windows, porches, and balconies.
Helpline calls increased by 60 percent in the capital Buenos Aires in the first days of the lockdown, according to Estela Díaz, the Minister of Women, Gender Policies and Sexual Diversity of the Province of Buenos Aires, and there have been at least twelve femicides in the country from March 20 until April 2 according to the NGO La Casa del Encuentro. The discovery of the bodies of a woman and her 7-year-old daughter in Lanús (a town to the south of Buenos Aires), who had disappeared on the night of March 25, caused outrage.
In this FiloNews article, all the cases of femicide that have taken place over the first 10 days of quarantine are described in more detail.
#Ruidazo against femicides and misogynistic violence
Faced with this alarming increase in demand for support, and difficulties victims face with reporting over the phone when the abuser is nearby, the National Ministry for Women, Genders, and Diversity has introduced alternative channels on WhatsApp and email. The term “red mask” (barbijo rojo) has also been established as a code word to ask for help in pharmacies across the country.
Feminists are calling for more support and demanding that the government takes action against gender violence. Several unions have, meanwhile, made hotels available to protect women in extreme cases, but vacancies are insufficient.
Es necesario que los hoteles que están cerrados y vacíos se usen para resguardar a las mujeres, niñez y Disidencias que por el aislamiento están obligadxs a convivir con su agresor. #LaIzquierdaReclama #NiUnaMenos #Ruidazo
— Noel Argañaraz (@ArganarazNoel) March 30, 2020
Social media is full of supportive messages, calling out the “pandemic” of misogynistic violence and femicides:
El gran porcentaje de femicidas se encuentra en nuestras casas. Miles de mujeres y niñes viven con quienes les pegan, con quienes las abusan y con quienes las someten a todo tipo de maltrato. NO ESTAS SOLA!! ✊💚💜#Ruidazo #NiUnaMenos
— Fernanda (@ferdecarolis1) March 30, 2020
The vast majority of femicides take place in our homes. Thousands of women and children live with people who hit them, who abuse them and who mistreat them in all sorts of ways. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! #Ruidazo #NoMore
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En los 10 días que llevamos de cuarentena hubo 12 femicidios. Hoy a las 18:00 #ruidazo en las ventanas, balcones y por redes 💪🏻💜 Si sos mujer y estás en una situación de violencia por favor llama gratis al 0-800-888-9898 las 24hs todos los días. SEGUIMOS JUNTAS 💜💚 cuarentena segura para todas #cuarentenaconderechos #niunamenos #alertafeminista #emergenciaenviolencia
During the 10 days we've been under quarantine, there have been 12 femicides. Today at 6 pm #ruidazo from windows, balconies and on social media. If you're a woman and you're in a violent situation, please call 0-800-888-9898 for free 24h a day every day. LET'S GO ON TOGETHER safe quarantine for all #quarantinewithrights #nomore #feministalert #violenceemergency
— Paulaguala (@Paulaguala1) March 30, 2020
— FLOR 💚✊ (@floor_lagos) March 30, 2020
11 mujeres asesinadas en los últimos 10 días durante la cuarentena.
Hoy a las 18hs #Ruidazo, hagámosnos oír! Colgá en tu balcón, ventana o terraza algún cartel contra la violencia machista.#NiUnaMenos #BarbijoRojo #QuedateEnTuCasa pic.twitter.com/5Zz5N06DBa
— Tatiana Goic (@tatyanaale) March 30, 2020
11 women murdered in the last 10 days under quarantine. Today at 18:00 #Ruidazo, let's make ourselves heard! Hang an anti-misogynistic violence poster from your balcony, window or patio.#NotOneMore #RedMask #StayAtHome
— Fundación Huésped (@FundHuesped) March 30, 2020