Quarantined Argentine women protest spike in femicides from their windows

A screenshot from the programme on March 31, 2020, on the YouTube channel Televisión Pública Noticias. Screenshot.

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

With my daughter #Ruidazo #quarantine #I'mStayingAtHome
#GenderViolence is a #Pandemic

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.

Hotels that are closed and empty need to be used to shelter women, children and nonbinary people who are being forced to isolate themselves with their abuser. #TheLeftDemands #NoMore #Ruidazo

Social media is full of supportive messages, calling out the “pandemic” of misogynistic violence and femicides:

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

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

Today from our balconies, windows or porches, us women will be shouting out #NotOneMore #Ruidazo

You owe it to us. #QuarantineWithoutGenderViolence #Ruidazo #NotOneMore

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

We're in isolation, but we're not alone.
We're joining in the #RUIDAZO and demanding #NotOneMore #IsolationNetwork #We'reClose

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