March 8, 2020 / 6:00 AM / 23 days ago

Latin American cities ready for massive Women's Day marches

MEXICO CITY, March 8 (Reuters) - From Buenos Aires to Mexico City, women across Latin America’s biggest cities readied to take to the streets for International Women’s Day on Sunday, spurred by a growing outcry over inequality, femicide and strict abortion controls.

As Women’s Day events unfold worldwide, the Latin American marches are set against a backdrop of broader social unrest in the region.

In Mexico’s capital, a march is expected to bring women into the streets in record numbers as they head to the public square fronting the national palace, fueled especially by anger over femicides, which have more than doubled in number over the last five years.

“I’m going to march for each and every woman in this country, for the dead and the living, for the victims of violence,” said Carmen Rojas, 52, in Mexico City. “We have to raise our voices.”

Marches in Chile may also be massive, in the wake of broader protests against social inequality that began in October and at their peak included more than 1 million people.

In recent days, Chilean senators approved a bill aimed at giving women an equal voice in drafting a new constitution, while the president strengthened punishment for femicide, or the murder of women because of their gender.

In Colombia, women in Bogota plan to celebrate the capital’s first female mayor, while protests are also expected over a recent court ruling that upheld limits on abortion.

Women’s Day in Argentina lands just over three months into the new administration, which has announced plans to create a minister for women and support a fresh effort to legalize abortion after previous attempts were defeated in Congress. (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico City Editing by Leslie Adler)

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