Recognition, Redistribution and Popular Participation: Towards an Integrative Judicial Policy

Public note for the 10 years of the Maria da Penha Law: in defense of the law and the institutionalization of policies to combat violence against women

August 8st, 2016

Source: UN Women

Public note for the 10 years of the Maria da Penha Law: in defense of the law and the institutionalization of policies to combat violence against women /

Recognized by 98% of the Brazilian population, the Maria da Penha Law brings to the 10th anniversary the urgent challenge of continuing the implementation of policies to combat violence against women with a gender, race and ethnicity perspective. Much progress has been made in these ten years, but even so, during this period, millions of Brazilian women experienced aggression in the domestic and family environment, due to social tolerance to violence against women and the social construction of being a woman through oppressive relationships. Thousands of women have had their lives devastated. Many of them were fatal victims of the effects of intimidation, persecution and macho control.

The Maria da Penha Law is a feminist legacy for Brazil, whose profound transformation in the policies of the Brazilian state led the right of women to live without violence to the centrality of the national legal system. The federal government's Secretariat of Policies for Women (SPM) exercised decisive leadership in the approval of the law and coordination in federal public management, articulating policies with states and municipalities, the legislature, the justice system, companies and other sectors of society.

In the process of discussing and implementing the Maria da Penha Law, led by the Consortium of Feminist and Women's Organizations, the federal government instituted the National Policy against Violence against Women (2005) and created the Women's Call Center - Ligue 180 (2005). Other key instruments were established by the SPM, such as the National Pact Against Violence against Women (2007) at the 2 National Conference on Policies for Women; the Commitment and Attitude campaign (2012), aimed at law and justice operators and operators; the Women, Living Without Violence Program (2013), for the integration of specialized services, humanization and speed in the care of victims; and the typification of femicide by Law no. 13.104 / 2015 as a qualifier for the murder of women with cruelty refinements. It is urgent to ensure continuity of actions!

After ten years, the challenges for the application of the Maria da Penha Law are notorious: to increase the allocation of financial and human resources in specialized services to deal with gender, race and ethnicity perspectives that incorporate other women's experiences; promote preventive actions in schools by teaching gender equality; improve the production of national information and ensure the expansion of specialized services in municipalities in the interior of the country; create and implement accountability services for male perpetrators as required by law; sensitize the media to spreading women's rights to a life without violence. The qualification of managers for the implementation of specialized service networks for the care of women with a gender perspective, health care and the justice response are demands to be taken seriously. Addressing macho violence with the full care of black, young, rural and special needs women, for example, shows the direction that the Maria da Penha Law has to follow relentlessly in the coming years.

It is important that the Maria da Penha Law be preserved from legislative proposals that could disfigure them. At the age of 10, it is urgent to continue all actions initiated by the federal government to make the implementation of PML more effective. To this end, the commitment of the public authorities in all spheres of government to defend the law is also fundamental in order to advance in the full coverage of the rights granted by it to Brazilian women in their diversity.

Only tireless action, integrated and linked to women's rights will be able to implement the National Policy to Fight Violence against Women, with the aim of eliminating macho violence and reversing the 5 place in a ranking of 83 countries in Women's murders. A ranking that expresses the amount of lives wasted by machismo.

Consortium of Feminist Non-Governmental Organizations under the Maria da Penha Law

Maria da Penha Institute

UN Women Brazil