‘Stop killing women’ — a new campaign against domestic violence in Angola

Manifestação em Luanda: #Paremdematarasmulheres | foto Simão Hossi

Demonstration in Luanda, Angola, using the hashtag #Paremdematarasmulheres in Portuguese, or ‘stop killing women’, Photo by Simão Hossi, used with permission.

When 26-year-old lawyer Carolina Joaquim de Sousa da Silva was found dead in her home on December 3, 2018, her husband confessed to the crime and was detained by Angola's criminal investigation department known as SIC.

In the same week, another murder of a woman was reported by Angola Public Television who said the young woman was allegedly stabbed by her ex-boyfriend.

These cases of violent crime have put many Angolan women on guard and led to a new campaign against domestic violence called “Stop Killing Women,” organized by Association Ondjango, a feminist nongovernmental organization. Using Facebook as their main mobilizing tool, their objective is to raise awareness about crimes against women in Angola:

Estes têm sido dias difíceis. Na verdade, para nós mulheres, muitos dias são difíceis e dolorosos porque ainda vivemos em contextos onde se justifica quase sempre, de uma ou de outra forma, todo o tipo de violência contra nós. E nestes últimos dias, em particular, ficou tudo ainda mais penoso por termos de lidar com as reacções que vieram à tona depois do caso de Carolina…

A violência contra as mulheres é real, é mesmo. Não é coisa da cabeça de feministas, não é invenção ou discurso vazio: É REAL! Carolina, infelizmente só acrescentou as estatísticas, houveram muitos outros casos antes dela que vieram a público e existem milhares de outros casos que não vêm a público. É um problema que está aí à porta, aos nossos olhos. E é um problema que extrapola relações entre um ou outro casal: é um problema estrutural.

Há uma estrutura que dita e relega as mulheres a papéis de subalternização que as torna em potenciais alvos de violência de todos os tipos e a todos níveis. Esta estrutura de supremacia masculina que paira sobre nós e muitos negam existir, e que não é invisível, faz isto: mutila e destrói as vidas das mulheres e MATA!

Nós, mulheres singulares e também enquanto colectivo, vamos continuar a gritar ‘parem de nos matar’ e de ‘ferir a nossa existência’. Queremos leis que nos protejam e sejam aplicáveis de facto, queremos políticas públicas que tragam aos debates e às instituições o respeito da nossa humanidade. Queremos uma sociedade onde não tenhamos medo de sair à rua! Vamos continuar a reivindicar uma sociedade onde tenhamos as nossas liberdades de ser, de sentir, de andar e pensar como quisermos. Vamos continuar a reivindicar uma sociedade onde possamos viver em segurança.

These have been difficult days. In truth, for us women, many days are difficult and painful because we still live in a context where, in one way or another, all types of violence against us are always excused. And in recent days, in particular, it was even more painful for having to deal with the reactions which came after the case of Carolina …

Violence against women is real, it really is. It is not something in the heads of feminists, it is not an invention or empty speech: IT IS REAL! Carolina, unfortunately, only adds to the statistics, there were many other cases before her which came to public attention and there are thousands of other cases that do not come to public attention. It is a problem which is right there at the doorstep, before our eyes. And it is a problem that supposes relations between one or another couple — it is a structural problem.

There is a structure that dictates and relegates women to roles of subordination which turns them into potential targets of violence of all kinds and at all levels. This structure of masculine supremacy which hangs over us and which many deny the existence of — and that is not invisible — does this: it mutilates and destroys the lives of women and KILLS!

We, individual women, and also as a collective, will continue to shout ‘stop killing us’ and ‘hurting our being’.

We want laws that protect us and are really applicable, we want public policies that bring respect of our humanity to debates and institutions. We want a society where we are not afraid of going out in the street! We will continue demanding a society where we have our freedom of being, of feeling, of walking and thinking how we want.

We will continue to demand a society where we can live in security.

Meanwhile, this campaign sparked opposing reactions from some men who found justifications for the wave of violence against women. Their campaign is called “Stop Betraying Us” and believe that betrayal is a valid reason for domestic violence against women. Though their movement has not gained much traction, Angolan rapper Gil Slows Allen Russel even said:

Parem de trair os outros, por favor chegaaaaa de corno. É um grito de clamor, mulheres se não nos querem mais peçam divórcio antes de trair se não vão bazar mesm.

Stop betraying others, please no more cuckolds. It is a loud cry, women if you no longer love us ask for a divorce before betraying us, go away.

Sociologist Mbangula Kemba criticized this point of view, asserting that conjugal problems must not be resolved with violence.

Angola approved a domestic violence law known as 25/11 in 2011 which criminalizes all acts of domestic violence as a public crime. However, this law has insufficiently light sentences, which vary from two to eight years.

Sizaltina Cutaia, an activist and feminist in Angola well-known for working on women’s rights, called for a better application of the law on social media:

Não basta só agravar as penas, senhora Vice Presidente do MPLA, é preciso que o Estado crie estruturas condições para combater a violência, os compromissos assumidos em 2007 por via da ratificação do protocolo de Maputo precisam de ser efectivados. Para além disso, há que criar estruturas para atender as vítimas e enact legislação complementar que garanta de facto a realização dos direitos das mulheres. Isso inclui toda a legislação em torno dos direitos sexuais e reprodutivos das mulheres.

Não adianta fazer discurso contra a violência doméstica e depois apoiar políticas que autorizem os fiscais e polícias diariamente agridam mulheres nas rua, é contraditório!

Não adianta fazer discurso contra a violência doméstica e apoiar um OGE que não acautele os serviços sociais cujo subfinanciamento todas sabemos impacta negativamente a vida das mulheres. É preciso dar sentido aos discursos com accoes concretas. Put the money where the mouth is.
#paremdematarasmulheres

It is not enough to increase sentences, Mrs. vice president of the MPLA [People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola], it is necessary that the state creates structural conditions to combat violence — the commitments taken in 2007 through the ratification of the protocol of Maputo need to be implemented. As well as this, it is necessary to create structures to attend to the victims and enact complementary legislation that guarantees de facto realization of women’s rights. This includes all the legislation around women’s sexual and reproductive rights.

It is no use making speeches against domestic violence and afterward supporting policies that authorize inspectors and police officers to assault women daily in the streets, it’s contradictory!

It is no use making speeches against domestic violence and supporting a state budget which does not safeguard social services, the underfinancing of which we all know negatively impacts the lives of women. It is necessary to give sense to the speeches with concrete actions. Put your money where your mouth is.

#stopkillingwomen

Feminist Cecília Kitombé reacted to those who continue to encourage violent relationships:

Alguns dos que estão a dizer e a escrever textão contra violência as mulheres afirmando que está demais, são os mesmos que aconselham as filhas, irmãs e primas a continuarem em relações abusivas, sob pretexto de que na conversa de marido e mulher não se mete a colher, outros ainda te dizem continue, a vida a dois é mesmo assim… Há ainda aqueles que acham que a mulher pode tudo, mas nunca esquecer o seu “papel”…

Parem de nos matar!!!

Some of those who are … asserting that it is too much [to speak out against domestic violence], are the same who advise daughters, sisters, and cousins to stay in abusive relationships, under the pretext that in the conversation of husband and wife you cannot interfere, and others tell you to continue, life in a couple is just like that … there are also those who think that women can do everything, but must never forget their ‘role’ …

Stop killing us!!!

Written by Simão Hossi Translated by Liam Anderson · · View original post [pt] · comments (0)
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