The term “Femicide” at the World YWCA was adapted after a motion by YWCA of Greece

At the 29th World Council held from November 17th-22nd in Johannesburg, South Africa, the YWCA of Greece proposed a motion for the adoption of the term “femicide” by the World Y movement when referring to murders of women, because of their gender, as opposed to the general term homicide.

The YWCA of Greece stated that words we choose to use give meaning, construct our social reality and are the core foundation of our value system and culture of the society as a whole. By pressing the world community to adopt the term “femicide” when we talk about murders due to gender, we highlight the true causes of those murders, caused as a direct outcome of a stereotypical society that deems women as possessions.

The World YWCA is creating a pressure lever towards the governments and civil society, in order to integrate the new terminology in all institutions of socialization. In that way the phenomenon becomes measurable and effectively addressed by the decision making and power structures. At the same time women are educated to claim equality, safety and dignity in all sectors of life.

The purpose of the World YWCA is for women and girls in the world to act collectively and lead the way in order to achieve, among others, justice, human dignity and freedom, thus realizing their human rights. The YWCA of Greece strongly believe that this motion clearly showed its consistency with our common goal for 2035 – young women and girls transforming power structures – and is directly related to the phenomenon of patriarchy, in order to create justice, gender equality and a world without violence against women & girls (VAWG).

When we talk about violence, we mention the term “break the cycle”. The YWCA of Greece stated it is time for women to break the cycle of silence of the untold truth behind the term femicide and the phenomenon it speaks of. It is about time the World YWCA movement adopted the term femicide. It is their conviction that the official use of the term will actively and directly contribute to the sensitization and pressure towards national governments and institutions so that this issue is addressed.

The YWCA-YMCA of Switzerland seconded the motion and it was supported by the YWCAs of Grenada, Bolivia, Albania, Armenia, Great Britain, Malawi, Poland and Puerto Rico.

The motion was adopted by the Council with 194 majority votes.