On January 15, Brazil’s newly-elected president Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree loosening restrictions on gun ownership in the country that leads the world in firearm deaths, as of 2016. Already, women’s rights advocates and policy experts fear that, in addition to a potential rise in violence overall, women will become the main targets.
“It is estimated that, in 2016, about half of the women killed in Brazil were victims of firearms and, of these, about 25 percent were murdered [in their homes],” said Elaini Cristina Gonzaga da Silva, director of the Orbis Center for Studies in Law and International Relations and a law professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP). “By focusing on the use of a weapon to defend ourselves against those who come from outside the house, we forget that the weapon is often used [by and against] those who are inside the house itself.”
Letícia Bahia, co-founder of the feminist site AzMina and a consultant for the United Nations Foundation, told Women Under Siege, “Women are killed at home almost three times more than men. In half of the cases, the crime is committed with a firearm.” Responding to the decree, she said, “Some people think that firearms could save these lives, but it is clear that women will come off worse in a fight… Violence and aggression are, historically, the attribute of masculinity.”
Full article at Women’s Media Center’s website. Date of publication: 24/02/2019