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LN – Fabiana Tunisia: “It is a mistake to say that we allocate 11 pesos per woman”


The director of the National Institute of Women (INAM) talks about the challenges to combat gender violence in our country

For the executive director of the National Women's Institute (INAM), recently distinguished as one of the 100 most influential people in terms of gender by the global network Apolitical, the main challenge we have as a country to end violence against women continues following “the cultural change”. This implies, among other issues, “the one who has to make a Justice that is still patriarchal and sexist”. Working on the training provided by the Micaela Law (on training on gender issues for members of the State) and educational transformations, is key to it. “We need to combat the inequality between men and women, which is fundamentally based on this culture that still places women on the side of the object and not the subject,” he says.

-Every time there is less talk of “shelters” and more of “integral protection homes” for women victims of violence. Why?

-You are changing the parameter. The refuge is an old concept that was held as a space for women to be justly sheltered, isolated. The home of safe integral protection is much better suited to the new times, where the woman is protected, sheltered, empowered and trained, but also has other tools that were complicated in a shelter. For example, a woman who today is in a home can, with accompaniment, take her sons and daughters to school. In addition, the concept of home is opposed to saying “we are blaming the victim”, that is, the one we are isolating is the woman, and implies a change of paradigm: start to control the aggressor and guarantee the victim, his sons and daughters, the necessary securities. That's why electronic anklets were incorporated as a monitoring mechanism to control the aggressor in real time, not just the victim. It is a dual system by which if he gets close to the woman, not only will he stop him, but she will get a warning by geolocation that the aggressor is nearby, thus generating a little protection More complete. They are distributed by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights to the provinces.

– Are there provinces that currently do not have shelters or homes?

-The only way to protect the woman is not with a building: if you give her a subsidy so she can rent a place or give her the possibility of being in a hostel or hotel, the province would be fulfilling the function of protecting the victim. There are jurisdictions that have not signed the adhesion to the National Plan of Action for the Prevention, Assistance and Eradication of Violence against Women 2017-2019, such as Chubut, Corrientes, Formosa, La Pampa, San Juan and Santiago del Estero. Some of them do not have shelters, but others do.

-The plan envisaged the construction of 36 homes of integral protection. Up to now, nine have been completed. What happened?

-On the one hand, there are nine that were completed in the provinces of Buenos Aires, San Luis, Mendoza, Santiago del Estero, Jujuy, Corrientes and Salta, but there are others that started in Buenos Aires at the end of the year they are expected to be finished. On the other, the paradigm was changed. When we started the plan we made a design, but in the evaluation that was made in the Federal Council of Women, some raised other issues that had to be addressed. Based on this, it was decided to set up the National Network of Integral Protection Homes, because before each province that had a home was reluctant to be used by a woman from another jurisdiction. It was decided not to continue building and betting on the strengthening of the existing homes in each province and the civil society organizations that work in this area. There are provinces that today have a halfway home and, thanks to the strengthening program, they are transforming it into one of integral protection.

– Does the budget allocated?

-There is an error when in some media it is reported that it amounts to 11 pesos per woman. That's because they take the INAM budget and divide it by the number of women in the country. But the reality is that from a work that began two years ago and has to do with a budget with a gender perspective, we are talking about 57 items from different agencies, with a very different amount than what is known. by the media. They are 568,494 million pesos: equivalent to 13% of total national spending on policies linked to the closing of gender gaps. For example, the Ministry of Health and Social Development, in sexual health and responsible procreation, went from a budget of 245,506,000 pesos to 560,344,000 in 2019, increasing by 69%. The program of strengthening of Comprehensive Sexual Education, went from 21,000,000 to 102,000,000 pesos. What I want to show with these examples is that the budget is much more than the INAM, which, on the other hand, since I assumed up to the present had an increase of 500% in its budget.

-Some civil society organizations raise the need for a specific economic subsidy for women victims of violence. Do you consider INAM to be a priority?

-From the INAM what we have done was that in the Ellas Hacen program, which was later absorbed by the Hacemos Futuro, priority be given to trans women, to those who are in a situation of prostitution and to victims of gender violence. On the other hand, there is the microcredit program, that is, that every woman who is trained in integral protection homes can then access one to carry out her business. I believe the specific economic subsidy is something that has to be defined in legislation that is debated in Congress. On the other hand, from the Plan of Equality of Opportunities and Rights there are many points that have to do with the economic strengthening or policies of care. To be able to talk about violence are a multiplicity of strategies and measures that must be taken into account.

-Why do not we manage to lower the numbers of femicides as a country?

-The main challenge is cultural change, which is the longest. Having strategic plans, laws and the whole battery of issues that are taking place, obviously there will come a time when it will occur. In Spain, it took a long time to reduce femicide rates. The National Plan of Action for the Prevention, Assistance and Eradication of Violence is a State policy and should continue to be so throughout the years so that we deconstruct this culture that remains macho.

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Publicado en el diario La Nación