Tuesday, January 26, 2021
After years of demonstrations against gender-based violence. The state of emergency, which will be in effect until June 22, 2022, responds to demands from those who protested increasing and unchallenged gender violence. The demand for a state of emergency was voiced by demonstrators following a rash of killing many women including transgender women and other trans people. One human rights activist said that transgender people were being hunted. "At least 60 direct and indirect femicides were reported in Puerto Rico in 2020, according to the local group Gender Equality Observatory. "
The Governor of Puerto Rico said "Gender violence is a social evil, based on ignorance and attitudes that cannot have space or tolerance in the Puerto Rico that we aspire to. For too long vulnerable victims have suffered the consequences of systematic machismo, inequity, discrimination, lack of education, lack of guidance and above all lack of action."
On a day when President Biden withdrew the ban on military service for transgender people, we are reminded that gender violence is on the rise everywhere. The machismo culture that Governor Pierluisi recognized as the root of gender violence has yet to challenged publicly in the mainland U.S. This machismo culture was on display on January 6th but results in the terrorization primarily of women, LGBTQ+ people, and children.
May the courage of Governor Pierluisi inspire others in the country to declare their own states of emergency to end gender violence.