. Nowadays it is still very difficult to be a woman in Latin American countries.
This is because of machismo, which goes well beyond the classical European chauvinism,
according to which men believe to be superior to women, although without much
conviction, so that in our old continent women have been emancipated for a long
time. Machismo in South America is something stronger and much more deep-rooted
into society and people. It could be one of the causes of Ciudad Juarez's death,
of the weak participation of women in politics and of their low repute from society.
A new law.
Despite all of this, however, there is still who takes women's situation to
heart, like the Venezuelan lawmakers and, above all, President of the Republic
Hugo Chavez. And in fact a new pro-women law has been born just in Venezuela,
the machist country par excellence: the “Ley Organica sobre el derecho de las
mujere a una vida libre de violencia”. Therefore, Venezuelan men, stop with humiliations,
offences, isolation and with the constant threats attempting the “emotional and
psychological stability of women”. In these cases the new law foresees severe
penalties ranging from a minimum of six to a maximum of eighteen months' imprisonment.
There is more than this.
But this is not enough. There will be twenty months' imprisonment for men attempting
a woman's physical and psychic safety by means of violence and death threats.
Furthermore, the new law establishes really tough penalties for crimes like sexual
abuse, pimping, slavery (especially sexual slavery) and violence on the workplace.
This new law also guarantees women deciding to report an offence. Moreover, as
reported from Caracas, denouncing offences will not be only a women's duty. All
will have the right to do it provided they know certain delinquent facts. President
Chavez, who has strongly wanted this reform involving personally in it, has tried
this way to provide women in his country with more dignity and a greater guarantee
of integrity in the society from the physical, psychological, sexual, patrimonial
and legal point of view. From today many of the Venezuelan exploited women will
have one more reason to fight for their dignity.