In February 2024, How Many Women Were Abused?

By Vanessa Onyema | Mar 25, 2024

The month of February is often seen as the month of love, but this was instead a chilling reality of most women who became victims of femicide from intimate partner violence. On the internet, the topic of femicide is continuously met with victim blaming and instances of how women can avoid abuse without necessary measures and laws put in place that protect women from abusers.

Femicide cases are grossly undocumented and our monthly report serves as a vital data repository, shedding light on the extent of this societal issue. It underscores the urgency for comprehensive measures to combat this pervasive problem, pushing for increased awareness, intervention, and support for victims. Our figures are obtained from meticulous Google searches with targeted keywords to gather verified information from news outlets, human rights groups, and trusted media.

The numbers in no way represent the total reported cases of femicides or cases of femicide worldwide but serve as a representation of the grim realities women face and also constantly create awareness on the issues of femicide. So, therefore, the numbers within our report serve as stark statistics and a call to action for a world that must unite to protect its most vulnerable members.

In February, protests erupted in Somalia as news spread of three women murdered by their husbands within a single week. The brutality of these killings was particularly horrific, with one victim doused in petrol and set on fire. Tragically, two of these women were pregnant at the time of their deaths.  These events sparked protests across the country, as women demanded justice and an end to femicide.

Based on our findings, we uncovered a staggering total of 230 cases of femicide in 32 countries. The United States took the lead with 101 cases followed by India with 37. Intimate partner violence was the dominant form of gender-based violence with a percentage 58.3 per cent of affected women aged 19 to 85. Domestic violence and non-intimate partner violence affected women/girls as young as 2 months old to as old as 90 years old.

The question remains: When do women cease being victims of gender-based violence, regardless of age? Can they find justice even in the grave? Why do their perpetrators roam freely, unaccountable for their heinous actions even when evidence has been presented?

Ingrained patriarchal norms and inequality contribute to the increasing rates of femicide worldwide. The United Nations grimly acknowledges that we are far from achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 5) (on female equality and empowerment) as we approach the halfway mark in the race to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In 2018, one in every seven women (13 per cent of women aged 15 to 49) reported experiencing physical and sexual violence from an intimate partner or husband in the preceding 12 months.

In Nigeria, the murder of Sarah Adesanya who was bound for Canada but met her end in the hands of her boyfriend Adebayo Adeseko, a filmmaker shook the internet. This was a case of murder-suicide which is usually reported in femicide cases and 14.3 per cent of the cases we found were also similar. 

This troubling pattern continues across the globe from South Africa to Ghana, to the United Kingdom, to Australia, to Canada to Pakistan where pregnant women are killed by their partners, daughters are killed by their fathers, mothers are killed by their sons, and children and family members are casualties of femicide with a total of 24 children and 9 family members killed alongside these women. 

We must continue to speak up against femicide and ensure that our outrage translates to actions and implementation of policies that promote the safety of women all over the world.

HIDDEN - to trigger update. rm later