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    Honduran women's rights groups use coffins in a protest in capital Tegucigalpa to highlight ongoing violence against women. | Photo: EFE

A women's association warned Wednesday that murders of women in the Central American country had now hit epidemic levels.

Femicides in Honduras have far surpassed epidemic levels, with 12 of every 100,000 residents dying from gender-based violence, said the local women’s rights center after a new study.

According to the World Health Organization, 8.8 deaths per 100,000 residents is enough to be categorized as an epidemic.

Reports of such crimes have skyrocketed in recent years, with a 263 percent rise between 2005 and 2013. In 2013, one woman was murdered every 14 hours – 636 in total this particular year, added the rights group.

RELATED: Femicide: A Term to Fight Gender Violence

However, 94 percent of the crimes remain unpunished, Claudia Herrmannsdorfer, spokesperson for the organization, told AFP.

The announcement coincided with Orange Day — a United Nations initiative, taking place every 25th of the month, to raise awareness of violence against women. This year marks also the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration, a progressive international road map to gender equality.

In June, the U.N.’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign asked the quesiton, “Where’s the money for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls?”

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

Many Central American countries are battling gender violence. U.N. Women reports that 14 of the 25 countries with the worst femicide rates are in Latin America, and especially the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Femicide also accounts for seven deaths in any 24-hour period in Mexico, with just 10 people sentenced for the crime from 2012-2013.

United Nations' figures show that around 66,000 women are killed every year worldwide, accounting for 17 percent of all homicides.


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