Ni una menos

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Ni una menos
TypeSocial movement
  • Argentina

Ni una menos (Spanish: [ni ˈuna ˈmenos]; Spanish for "Not one [woman] less") is a Latin American fourth-wave[1][2] grassroots[3] feminist movement, which started in Argentina and has spread across several Latin American countries, that campaigns against gender-based violence. This mass mobilization comes as a response to various systemic issues that proliferate violence against women. In its official website, Ni una menos defines itself as a "collective scream against machista violence."[4] The campaign was started by a collective of Argentine female artists, journalists and academics, and has grown into "a continental alliance of feminist forces".[5] Social media was an essential factor in the propagation of the Ni Una Menos movement to other countries and regions. The movement regularly holds protests against femicides, but has also touched on topics such as gender roles, sexual harassment, gender pay gap, sexual objectification, legality of abortion, sex workers' rights and transgender rights.

The collective takes its name from a 1995 phrase by Mexican poet and activist Susana Chávez, "Ni una muerta más" (Spanish for "Not one more [woman] dead"), in protest to the female homicides in Ciudad Juárez. Chávez herself was assassinated in 2011, moment in which the phrase became a "symbol of struggle".[6][7]

Context for movement origin[edit]

Latin America has incredibly high rates of femicide, or feminicide; at least 12 women suffer from gender-based violence daily. Additionally, 14 out of the 25 countries with the highest rates of gender-based violence can be found in Latin America.[8] The primary age group that is a victim of this sort of violence are young women aged 15–29.[9] Gender-based violence can be described as diverse tactics to keep women in a subordinate position in society.[10] The actual conditions and methods to exert violence can vary greatly. For example, they can range from murder in a civil war environment to being slapped in an otherwise peaceful home. Furthermore, defining victims of feminicide is slightly distinct from female victims of homicide. For a case to be classified as femicide, victims are killed because of their gender.[11] Nevertheless, this statistic may be higher and more nuanced because collecting accurate data is difficult. This pattern creates more barriers to institutionalizing practices that may protect women from gender-based violence.[8]

A factor that influences the prevalence of gender-based violence in Latin America is gender inequality. In Latin America, women are often more socially and economically disadvantaged compared to women in North America and Western Europe.[12] This may perpetuate dynamics where women are more likely to remain in relationships where they are experiencing abuse or violence.

Furthermore, many feminists point to institutional violence as a factor that proliferates more gender-based violence and femicide. They cite impunity for men within legal institutions as a mechanism that impedes women from achieving justice.[13] They argue that the legal system is built so that women face barriers or are improperly protected from violence. Researchers have concluded that the level of impunity in a country is an accurate predictor of higher rates of femicide.[13]

On the other hand, toxic masculinity, or machismo, is very prevalent in Latin America. These concepts refer to the notion that men are stronger than women and must assert control in order to protect them. However, they often incorporate an aggressive and exaggerated assertion of masculinity that can translate into a propensity for gender-based discrimination and gender-based violence.[11]

Lastly, gender-based violence is more common in areas that are more prone to cartel and gang violence. Violence against the female body is used as a tool to assert control and dominance.[14] Furthermore, as cartels expand they begin to delve into practices beyond drugs, including sexual exploitation and trafficking.[15] Moreover, it reiterates ideas of machismo and consequent female submissiveness. These patterns are prevalent in Latin America due to the amount of drug and cartel violence. In Central America, around 600,000 people are internally displaced due to gang violence.[14] On the other hand, levels of violence across the region have been increasing in the past couple of years.[16]

Across Latin America[edit]


Ni Una Menos protest in Argentina in 2018. The green handkerchiefs are typically used to signal support for abortion legalization[17]

The Ni Una Menos movement was born in Argentina. The protest was organized after the murder of 14-year-old Chiara Paez, found buried underneath her boyfriend's house on May 11, 2015, because she wanted to keep the baby and he did not, so he beat her to death when she was a few weeks pregnant.[18] They were able to mobilize 200,000 people in Buenos Aires alone.[19] The movement was iterated as opposition to femicide and violence against women, but did not discuss more controversial topics originally.[20] The name Ni Una Menos can be roughly translated to "Not One [Woman] Less." This refers to not wanting any more women to die as a result of gender-based violence. The movement became nationally recognized with the use of the hashtag #NiUnaMenos on social media, title under which massive demonstrations were held on June 3, 2015, having the Palace of the Argentine National Congress as a main meeting point.[20] Since the first #NiUnaMenos in 2015, demonstrations take place every year in Argentina on June 3. Furthermore, the movement has continued to expand to other countries and regions due to its strong digital presence.[21] The transnational spread through the use of social media after the movement's birth in Argentina has allowed for different places to adapt to their local needs while maintaining a sense of solidarity.

On October 19, 2016 the Ni una menos collective organized a first-ever women mass strike in Argentina, in response to the murder of 16-year-old Lucía Pérez, who was raped and impaled in the coastal city of Mar del Plata.[22][23] It consisted of a one-hour pause from work and study early in the afternoon, with protesters dressed in mourning for what was known as Miércoles negro (Spanish for "Black Wednesday"). These protests became region-wide and gave the movement a greater international momentum, with street demonstrations also taking place in Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Spain.[24][25]

As a direct result of Ni Una Menos protests, the Registry of Femicides and the Centre for the Registration, Systematisation, and Monitoring of Feminicides were created to keep a better record of gender-based violence. The government also established the Ministry for Women, Gender, and Diversity.[26] Moreover, Ni Una Menos protests in Argentina are credited as a catalyst for the legalization of first-trimester elective abortion on December 30, 2020.[27] The movement drifted from their original mission to combat violence against women and adopted abortion rights as a key issue in the movement. The vastness of the protests caused abortion to become a salient topic in the Argentine legislature and caused more people to support its legalization.[28]


Ni Una Menos protest in Peru.

In Peru, over 30% of women report suffering physical violence at the hands of a spouse in their lifetime.[29] Further, in a 2006 World Health Organization survey, they found that Peru had the highest rates of violence in the region with 61% reporting violence experiencing violence at the hands of an intimate partner.[30] The NiUnaMenos (Peru) movement was sparked in July 2016 when Adriano Pozo Arias, a known abuser, was released from jail. A video captures him attacking his girlfriend, Cindy Arlette Contreras Bautista. He was convicted and sent to jail but only served a one-year sentence. Another case that impulsed Peruvians into action was when Ronny Garcia beat Lady Guillen.[31] The resulting protest on August 13, 2016 has been recognized as the largest protest in Peruvian history with hundreds of thousands of people in attendance in Lima.[32] People were mobilized and the march's logistics were planned over Facebook as tensions and frustrations about high levels of feminicide and the lack of a strong state response to this issue increased.[31] There have been subsequent Ni Una Menos marches in Peru on 2017[33] and 2018.[34]

In Peru, there has been considerable backlash against the adoption of abortion rights as an issue Ni Una Menos is championing for. Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, a prominent religious leader condemned the legalization of abortion in cases of child rape and the expansion of sex education courses in schools.[35] He has even organized counterprotests to proliferate his opposing, more conservative beliefs.

Beyond Latin America[edit]

United States[edit]

#MeToo sign at the 2018 Women's March in New York

The Ni Una Menos movement expressed itself as the large scale #MeToo Movement in the United States. Their missions are somewhat different since MeToo focuses on calling out perpetrators of sexual assault and harassment in positions of power, while Ni Una Menos pays more attention to femicide specifically. They share themes of improving the situation of violence against women and secured much of their support from social media. Moreover, #MeToo has collaborated with Ni Una Menos as they did for the International Women's Strike in 2017.[36][37] They have also pointed to Ni Una Menos as an inspiration to their activism. The #MeToo Movement began in 2017, a couple of years after the first protest in Argentina and the movement had begun to spread throughout the rest of South America and the Caribbean. It was a reaction to Harvey Weinstein's continued inappropriate sexual behavior.[38] Several actresses, including Alyssa Milano, took to social media to denounce Weinstein. They also encouraged other women to share experiences within the same industry with other perpetrators. This initiative expanded to other industries and people in power within them. The purpose of the movement was for women to find solidarity, support, and a safe space to share their stories of sexual assault and harassment.[39] The phrase "Me Too" was originally coined by Tarana Burke in 2007 to encourage survivors to speak out. However, it became more mainstream once it reached social media in 2017.[40]  

Criticism and Backlash[edit]

The basis of the Ni Una Menos movement is that women face disproportionate violence due to their gender. Some critics counter this assertion with the fact that in aggregate men face more violence than women.[41] Some respond to this by reframing feminicide as an effect of a patriarchal society that has negative consequences for everybody that lives within it. Meanwhile, others simply reject the movement.

Milagro Sala, a controversial figure in Argentinian social and political spheres that brings critiques to the Ni Una Menos movement.

On the other hand, Ni Una Menos strategically establishes itself as a movement against gender based violence. While many members of the movement champion for other aspects of women's liberation, such as abortion rights and LGBTQ+ rights, the movement has not adopted an official position for either of these.[35] However, there still are strong indicators that the rise of the Ni Una Menos movement facilitated the abortion legalization process in Argentina.[28] Conservative and religious sectors across Latin America have opposed the overlap between people that support the Ni Una Menos movement and these other rights.

The movement has been criticized by some journalists, especially since 2017, for some of its demands, such as the freedom of Milagro Sala in Argentina.[42] Sala is an dark-skinned, indigenous Túpac Amaru politician and social leader who was convicted for 13 years in prison for fraud, extortion, and illicit association. Some Ni Una Menos activists believe that she was wrongly arrested for political purposes. She and her arrest are controversial topics in Argentinian public discourse.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Young, Linda (11 December 2017). "A Women's Strike Organizer on Feminism for the 99 Percent". Broadly. Vice Media. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  2. ^ Branigan, Claire; Palmeiro, Cecilia (8 March 2018). "Women Strike in Latin America and Beyond". North American Congress on Latin America. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  3. ^ Palmer, Rose (15 December 2017). "Ni Una Menos: An Uprising of Women in Argentina". Culture Trip. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Qué es Ni una menos" (in Spanish). Ni una menos. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  5. ^ Gago, Verónica; Santomaso, Agustina (7 March 2017). "Argentina's Life-or-Death Women's Movement". Jacobin. Bhaskar Sunkara. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  6. ^ "#NiUnaMenos: ¿Quién fue la autora de la consigna que une a miles contra la violencia de género?" (in Spanish). 3 June 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  7. ^ Subirana Abanto, Katherine (4 March 2018). "El tiempo de la acción". El Comercio (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Exploring the Data: The Prevalence of Gender-based Violence in Latin America | Wilson Center". Archived from the original on 19 April 2023. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  9. ^ Caribbean, Economic Commission for Latin America and the (24 November 2022). "ECLAC: At Least 4,473 Women Were Victims of Femicide in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2021". (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 23 March 2023. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  10. ^ Wilson, Tamar Diana (2014). "Introduction: Violence against Women in Latin America". Latin American Perspectives. 41 (1): 3–18. doi:10.1177/0094582X13492143. ISSN 0094-582X. JSTOR 24573973. Archived from the original on 16 February 2023. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  11. ^ a b "Machismo, Femicides, and Child's Play: Gender Violence in Mexico". Harvard International Review. 19 May 2020. Archived from the original on 29 January 2023. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 February 2023. Retrieved 24 April 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ a b Saccomano, Celeste (2017). "El feminicidio en América Latina: ¿vacío legal o déficit del Estado de derecho? / Feminicide in Latin America: legal vacuum or deficit in the rule of law?". Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals (117): 51–78. doi:10.24241/rcai.2017.117.3.51. ISSN 1133-6595. JSTOR 26388133.
  14. ^ a b "Violence Against Women by Cartels and Gangs in El Salvador, Honduras - Weaponisation of Female Bodi". The Security Distillery. 12 February 2021. Archived from the original on 27 March 2023. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
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  17. ^ "Why we continue to march towards legal abortion in Argentina". Amnesty International. 8 August 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  18. ^ Pomeraniec, Hinde (8 June 2015). "How Argentina rose up against the murder of women". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  19. ^ Justice, Adam (4 June 2015). "Argentina: 200,000 rally against femicide and domestic violence in Buenos Aires". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  20. ^ a b Rabinovich, Andrés. "#NiUnaMenos" (in Spanish). {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. ^ Piatti-Crocker, Adriana (23 November 2021). "Diffusion of #NiUnaMenos in Latin America: Social Protests Amid a Pandemic". Journal of International Women's Studies. 22 (12): 7–24. ISSN 1539-8706.
  22. ^ "#NiUnaMenos: Not One Woman Less, Not One More Death!". NACLA. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  23. ^ "El "aberrante" empalamiento de una niña de 16 años indigna a Argentina". BBC News Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  24. ^ Gordon, Sarah (21 October 2016). "NiUnaMenos: How the brutal gang rape and murder of a schoolgirl united the furious women of Latin America". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  25. ^ Goñi, Uki (20 October 2016). "Argentina's women joined across South America in marches against violence". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  26. ^ "BOLETIN OFICIAL REPUBLICA ARGENTINA - LEY DE MINISTERIOS - Decreto 7/2019". Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  27. ^ Politi, Daniel; Londoño, Ernesto (30 December 2020). "Argentina Legalizes Abortion, a Milestone in a Conservative Region". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  28. ^ a b Daby, Mariela; Moseley, Mason W. (June 2022). "Feminist Mobilization and the Abortion Debate in Latin America: Lessons from Argentina". Politics & Gender. 18 (2): 359–393. doi:10.1017/S1743923X20000197. ISSN 1743-923X. S2CID 233957209.
  29. ^ "Violencia de Género. Cuadro 8.1 Perǘ: Violencia física contra la mujer ejercida alguna vez por parte del esposo o compañero, segǘn ámbito geográfico". Instituto Nacional de Estadística (in Spanish). 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  30. ^ Wilson, Tamar Diana (2014). "Introduction: Violence against Women in Latin America". Latin American Perspectives. 41 (1): 3–18. doi:10.1177/0094582X13492143. ISSN 0094-582X. JSTOR 24573973.
  31. ^ a b Choque, Franklin Américo Canaza (4 January 2021). "«Por nuestras muertas». El despertar de un poder y la movilización de Ni Una Menos [NUM] en el Perú de 2016". Puriq (in Spanish). 3 (1): 11–25. doi:10.37073/puriq.3.1.107. ISSN 2707-3602. S2CID 234215823.
  32. ^ "La larga marcha". Diario UNO (in Spanish). August 14, 2016.
  33. ^ PERU.COM, NOTICIAS (26 November 2017). "#NiUnaMenos: así fue la marcha en Lima contra violencia a mujeres | ACTUALIDAD". (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  34. ^ Collyns, Dan (5 June 2018). "Fury over Peru president's reaction to woman's murder by stalker". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  35. ^ a b "Ni Una Menos Stares Down Conservative Reaction/ Ni Una Menos enfrenta una reacción conservadora". NACLA. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  36. ^ Beatley, Megan (9 March 2017). "Meet the Argentine Women Behind Ni Una Menos, the Feminist Collective Angela Davis Cites as Inspiration". Remezcla. Remezcla LLC. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  37. ^ Alcoff, Linda Martín; Arruzza, Cinzia; Bhattacharya, Tithi; Fraser, Nancy; Ransby, Barbara; Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta; Odeh, Rasmea; Davis, Angela (6 February 2017). "Women of America: we're going on strike. Join us so Trump will see our power". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  38. ^ SARBANES, JANET (2022), "On New Forms of Autonomous Politics in Our Era and a New Mode of Instituting", Letters on the Autonomy Project, Punctum Books, pp. 119–126, JSTOR j.ctv2mm2113.16, retrieved 2 May 2023
  39. ^ "Get To Know Us | Our Vision & Theory of Change". me too. Movement. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  40. ^ Tambe, Ashwini (2018). "Reckoning with the Silences of #MeToo". Feminist Studies. 44 (1): 197–203. doi:10.15767/feministstudies.44.1.0197. ISSN 0046-3663. JSTOR 10.15767/feministstudies.44.1.0197. S2CID 150244127.
  41. ^ ARCE, JOSÉ MANUEL VALENZUELA (2020). "Ni Una Más". NI UNA MÁS: ¿La lucha contra el feminicidio traiciona al feminismo?. pp. 77–96. doi:10.2307/j.ctv1gm02x8.7. JSTOR j.ctv1gm02x8.7. S2CID 191853865. Retrieved 30 April 2023. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  42. ^ "La politización de Ni Una Menos: áspero debate en Intratables. Mirá el video". El Intransigente (in Spanish). Infobae. 5 June 2017. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.

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