Over the last 18 months in Argentina, a women’s movement has gathered considerable momentum and is now resulting in the formation of tangible policies aimed at protecting women. The movement, “Ni Una Menos,” or “Not One Less,’ got its start in May 2015 on social media and made international headlines when tens of thousands organized in cities around the country to protest the treatment of women the next month. Since then, the group behind the movement has taken a survey aimed at illustrating just how dangerous it is to be a woman in Argentina. Some 59,000 people took part in the survey, which revealed grim statistics on “machista” violence — attacks on women that don’t end in death. According to the findings, 67 percent of women reported having experienced a physically violent situation with their partners, 79 percent said they have been touched inappropriately while riding public transportation, and 20 percent said they have been raped.
Assessing the depth of the problem has been the first step toward sparking change. “Without precise information, it’s very difficult to form public policy to resolve this situation,” Ingrid Beck, one of the group’s organizers, told Vice News. The country’s justice department had statistics on femicide — the killing of women because of their gender — but lacked figures on machista. “Machista violence is like a train with many stations,” Martin Romeo, a professor who helped administer the survey, said. “The last station is femicide. It’s so important to show what happens before.
Now that the Not One Less group has painted a portrait of what violence against women in Argentina looks like, it’s actively lobbying for changes in public policy to protect women. So far, it has seen domestic violence offices of the Supreme Court in five of the country’s 23 provinces. But it wants one office in each province, at least. In addition to policy changes, the group hopes the awareness that it’s raising will result in a cultural shift that prioritizes ending machista violence. “A “big change” Beck said that “maybe my grandchildren” will benefit from someday.
Read the full story at VICE News.