FEMICIDE – THE MOST EXTREME FORM OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Femicide or feminicide is a sex-based hate crime term, defined as intentional killing of women or girls because they are females. Gender-related killings are the extreme manifestation of existing forms of violence against women. Such killings are not isolated incidents that arise suddenly and unexpectedly, but represent the ultimate act of violence which is experienced in a continuum of violence. Femicide is on the extreme end of a continuum of antifemale terror that includes a wide variety of verbal and physical abuse, such as rape, torture, sexual slavery, child sexual abuse, physical and emotional battery, sexual harassment, genital mutilation, unnecessary gynecological operations, forced heterosexuality, forced sterilization, forced motherhood, psychosurgery, denial of food to women in some cultures, cosmetic surgery, and other mutilations in the name of beautification. Whenever these forms of terrorism result in death, they become femicides. Femicide has been globally identified as the leading cause of premature death in women. Notwithstanding the fact that it is the most extreme manifestation of male violence against women, yet there are limited data on femicide. Femicide occurs in all countries of the world. The biggest concern stems from the fact that these killings continue to be invisible, accepted, tolerated or justified as part of tradition, and the rule of impunity continues to exist. Hence, in order to prevent femicide, the practice of impunity must be changed, perpetrators must be brought to justice, and work must be done to change everyone's individual attitudes toward women and their role in society. There are different types of femicide, such as: femicide as a consequence of domestic violence or intimate partner violence, killings of women and girls in the name of "honor", femicide because of dowry, femicide linked to organized crime, intentional killings of women in war, female infanticide and gender-based sex selective feticide, femicide as a result of genital mutilation and murders of women accused of witchcraft or sorcery, misogynistic killing of women, murders of women and girls because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. There are active or direct forms of femicide and passive or indirect forms. More than four decades have passed since Diana Russell coined the word “femicide”, during the proceedings of the First International Tribunal on Crimes against Women in Brussels in 1976. From that point on, researchers have followed different approaches to the analysis of femicide: a feminist approach, which confronts patriarchal domination at the same time as it investigates the killing of women; a sociological approach, which focuses on the examination of the features special to the killing of women that make it a separate phenomenon; a criminological approach, which distinguishes femicide as a unique sector in “homicide” studies; a human rights approach, which extends femicide beyond the lethal and into extreme forms of violence against women. This paper aims to provide an overview of the different types of femicide, risk factors, the international legal framework that directly refers to this issue, as well as the legislation of the Republic of Northern Macedonia. This study is based on the need to understand the severity of femicide, as well as the need to prevent and protect victims of this type of violence.
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