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  • Women participate in a commemoration event for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in San Salvador, El Salvador.

    Women participate in a commemoration event for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in San Salvador, El Salvador. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 February 2016

High levels of impunity for crimes against women in El Salvador has normalized gendered violence in the country, says the U.N.

El Salvador approved the creation of a special court specifically to try violent crimes committed against women.

The move is an attempt to crack down on the country's high rate of femicide, domestic abuse, and physical and sexual assault against women, which human rights organizations have called serious problems in the country.

The Jurisdiction and Specialized Courts for a Life Free of Violence and Discrimination Against Women was approved by the Salvadoran Congress Monday.

ANALYSIS: Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Overview

“With this approval, a debt is being paid to Salvadoran women and many of them may now get a fair trial,” said Karla Hernandez, lawmaker and president of the Committee on Women and Gender Equality.

According to the United Nations, women have long suffered major injustice in El Salvador, a country that has a reputation of being one of the world's most dangerous for girls and women.

“Impunity for crimes, socio-economic disparities and the machista (machismo) culture continue to foster a generalized state of violence, subjecting women to a continuum of multiple violent acts,” reads a U.N. report on violence against women in the country.

ANALYSIS: Women’s Rights and Textile Factories in Central America

The new measure will see specialized magistrate, trial and sentencing courts created across the country for crimes against women. The idea behind the measure is that judges and lawyers specifically trained to deal with issues of violence toward women will be better able to prosecute these kinds of crimes.

“With this ruling, the rights of women are safeguarded when they are injured or discriminated against, so that through a specialized judge, who must be trained on the subject, will follow the specific cases of violence,” said Mario Tenorio, member of the right-wing Great Alliance for National Unity party.


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