Mexico’s feminist group uses internet to demand gender equality

World Today

A feminist group in Mexico City is using social media to push against gender bias online. Known as the Luchadoras or “the fighters,” the group looks for gender equality and fair treatment on the internet and streets for women.

CGTN’s Denny Alfonso reports from Mexico City.

“Forty-five percent of women in a relationship here have suffered violence, around fifty percent have been sexually abused and the cases brought to justice are minimum,” Sot Lulu Barrera, Luchadoras founder said.

The feminists said that Mexican idiosyncrasies are partially to blame for crimes against women. Recently, Luchadoras collaborated with online content provider Wikipedia and Female Editors to develop content of successful women to showcase their strategy session on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

According to the National Citizens Femicide Observatory, six women a day are killed in Mexico in anti-female attacks. That’s why with the help of social media, Luchadoras is driving a cultural change from women’s virtual absence to strong influential creators, able to take over cyberspace and make it equal.

In 2016, Andrea Noel, a newspaper journalist was a victim of a sexual attack; the crime was caught on a street security camera. This image went viral and Noel received online threats until she left the country.

Luchadoras said education in how to respond to an attack is key.

“What we do on Twitter is report the aggression, the person who is the victim has to document the attack,” Evelyn Alcala, Luchadoras director said.

A study by the Association for Progressive Communications looked at global corporate and legal remedies for technology- related violence against women. The report found 41 percent of the crimes were committed by someone known to the victim, 60 percent of the cases reported weren’t investigated, and in less than 1/3 of the cases reported, the internet service took action.

The study also said the most vulnerable group impacted by internet violence range from ages 18 through 30 and younger.

Luchadoras criticizes the lack of help from the Mexican government, but the group will continue raising awareness about women’s rights issues and hope their strategy can be applied in other cities worldwide.