To “be safer,” women participate in a mass self-defense class in Mexico

Some 300 women participated Tuesday in a massive self-defense class in one of the most popular neighborhoods of the capital of Mexico, a country affected by an epidemic of femicide.

From adolescents to older adults, they gathered in a park in the Iztapalapa mayor’s office (east of Mexico City) where they learned to kick, twist their arms to escape in case of an attempt to subdue them, and punch them in the face.

With an average of 10 murders of women every day in the Latin American country, according to the UN, Margarita Ramírez, 56, thanked the local government for the initiative.

The lesson "it’s to learn and be safer and stronger!"said Ramírez courageously. The class was taught by a woman and two men who directed the exercises through a megaphone.

Like almost all the students, Ramírez wore a purple shirt that read "they took away our fear, we grew wings"stanza of "fearless song" by the singer-songwriter Vivir Quintana, which has become a hymn for demonstrations against gender violence.

"Insecurity always occurs everywhere at any time, even in the same house, violence occurs in all aspects" so the class is "super important because many people, including women, do not know how to defend themselves"Blanca Nares, who also participated in the training, commented in turn.

Mexican authorities received in 2022 almost 340,000 calls for help from women denouncing some type of violence, of which some 7,000 were for sexual abuse, according to official figures.

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