By MEREL HAENEN
Mexico is slated to host the world’s largest forum on violence against women in the resort city of Cancun, Quintana Roo, in September 2022.
The Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum, the largest global conference on violence against women and children, was inaugurated on Thursday, Dec. 9, in an international online webinar.
During the event, Claudia García-Moreno, leader of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) violence against women effort and SVRI forum chair, announced that the organization’s 7th annual conference will be held in Cancún in 2022, from Sept. 19 to Sept. 23.
A decade after Mexico first began officially registering its surging femicide rate following the issuing of a SVRI warning declaration of gender-based violence, the country will focus on finding a way to end violence against women.
Some 700 delegates from around the globe are expected to attend the five-day forum, including UN representatives, policymakers, government officials, researchers, activists, funders and survivors.
Mexico has one of the highest incidences of gender-based violence worldwide, with 10 women being killed daily, according to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Moreover, the rate of femicides in Mexico has doubled over the course of the last five years.
Regionally, Mexico ranks only behind Brazil in absolute terms of femicides.
Even more alarming, in the last few years, Mexico’s impunity rate has reached an astounding 93 percent, with most crimes against women either going unreported, uninvestigated or unprosecuted.
The world’s first Global Shared Research Agenda of Violence against Women (GSRA) was launched earlier this year as a shared initiative by the South African-based SVRI and the Equality Institute in Australia.
The purpose of the GSRA is to set research priorities for the next five years in conducting fair, effective and relevant research for violence against women worldwide. Capitalizing on robust and rigorous research, the GSRA serves as an important tool in determining what works and what doesn’t work to curb gender-based violence.
Emma Fulu, founder of the Equality Institute, said that the Cancun forum will be particularly useful in investigating under-researched forms of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence.
According to a study conducted by the WHO, on average, one in three women worldwide have experienced one or both forms of violence at least once in their lifetime.