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Brazil Congress recognises femicide

Brasilia [AFP]

Biochemist and domestic violence survivor Brazilian Maria da Penha (L), prompeter of new anti-violence law, receives a campaign bracelet from US actor Reese Witherspoon during a 2008 event to spread a message of female empowerment in Sao Paulo, Brazil. AFP Photo/Mauricio Lima

Biochemist and domestic violence survivor Brazilian Maria da Penha (L), prompter of new anti-violence law, receives a campaign bracelet from US actor Reese Witherspoon during a 2008 event to spread a message of female empowerment in Sao Paulo, Brazil. AFP Photo/Mauricio Lima

Brazilian MPs have approved a bill recognising ‘femicide’, or the killing of a woman because of her gender in a country where 50,000 women lost their lives through violence over the past decade.

‘Femicide distinguishes violent crime against women from crimes in general,’ said Eleonora Menicucci, minister for women’s affairs.

‘It is for the good of Brazil in that it is favourable to women and it tackles the violence that can affect any woman. We are giving them an instrument of protection,’ she said ahead of the bill’s approval.

The new law covers cases of women killed for her gender following domestic violence or gender-based violent discrimination.

It also stipulates that femicide is an aggravated form of homicide and foresees a jail term of 12 to 30 years for perpetrators.

If the victim is pregnant, killed in front of children or other family members, or if the victim is aged less than 14 or more than 60 the sentence is increased by a third.

President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female leader, still has to ratify the bill, which tightens 2006 legislation beefing up punishments for domestic violence.

The original law was named after the case of Maria da Penha, a biochemist who fought for years to have her husband convicted for twice trying to murder her and who ultimately left her a paraplegic.

 


One response to “Brazil Congress recognises femicide”

  1. To Maria da Penha I stand in awe of what you have acheived, you will be very proud of your acheivement. I have wondered what happened to a friend who returned to Brazil in April 2013 to look after her Father, her Mother had died about 2012 of pancreatic cancer & she felt that she should devote her time to look after her Father. Her christian name is Alexandra & she worked in a restraunt in Coolangatta, Thanks Heaps Richard.

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