Skopje, 26 October 2018 (MIA) – Seventy women were killed in Macedonia between 2008-2016. Institutions do not recognize data related to femicide, because it is not defined as a crime in the Criminal Code, heard a presentation of an analysis by the National network to end violence against women and domestic violence on Friday.
Of the 70 murders, 54 women were identified, with grounds for femicide in 51 of them, i.e. killing of females because they are females.
Minister of Labor and Social Policy Mila Carovska, Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski and UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Representative Louisa Vinton attended the presentation.
Network director Elena Dimusevska said more than 80 percent of victims in the country were killed by intimate partners, be it current or former, living in a marital or extramarital union, or in relationship and not living together. The remaining were killed by other close family members, such as brothers and fathers.
“The analysis has shown that women in Macedonia can be protected. All these murders can be prevented, at least most of them, if proper procedures are followed and they are reported in a proper institution. Most of the cases involved illegally owned guns,” said Dimusevska.
She added that another concerning fact is that majority of the killings occurred in the victim’s home or in her new residence, showing that a woman is least secure in her own home.
“Women are killed in their own homes, where they should feel safe, and killed by members of their families and their partners, who are supposed to protect them. This is quite concerning,” said Dimusevska.
Minister Carovska said Macedonia has already ratified the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, and an operational plan for its implementation has already been developed.
“This is not an issue that concerns only one institution, but all institutions and all citizens. Joint cooperation and communication is required to prevent this phenomenon,” said Carovska and added that all stakeholders should work on amending the Criminal Code in the coming period, towards defining femicide as a crime, along with a separate law on gender-based violence.
UN representative Vinton said the analysis has shown that almost every femicide could be prevented by competent institutions.
“This is no crime of passion, these are criminals who have a long history of violence. One of the most important principles of the Istanbul Convention is that if the state did not react appropriately to prevent any violence from occurring, then the responsibility for that violence falls not only on the perpetrator, but the state itself,” said Vinton.
Minister Spasovski said domestic violence and gender-based violence are more than statistics, as the country is obliged to build a society protective of women as the pillar of a family.
“It is obvious that the Criminal Code needs to undergo changes, defining femicide as a crime. But it is much more important to create a prevention system that involves all institutions, to activate NGOs, media, and enhance the public awareness,”, underlined Spasovski. ik/