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What is Femicide?

Femicide is the Intentional killing of women/girls because they are women/girls. More broadly, any killings of women or girls can be described as Femicide. The definition of this word varies across disciplines and world regions, but Femicide is recognized as the most extreme form of violence and discrimination that women and girls face.

In Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States between 40% and 70% of female murder victims were killed by their intimate partners.

Honour killings are another example of Femicide, but it doesn't mean that all honour killings are instances where Femicide transpires. An honour killing is the murder of a family member usually, usually a girl or woman, for the purported reason that the person has brought shame or dishonour to their family.

The term’s relevance in the Canadian context continues to surface, perhaps most clearly in 1989 with the killing of 14 women in what is referred to now as the Montreal Massacre – an event that continues to bring Canadians together on Dec. 6 every year to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Despite this, the term ‘Femicide’ continues to be rarely used despite its utility in underscoring how women are often targeted and killed because they are women, often within the context of intimacy and/or sexual violence.


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