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Femicide in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil: gender iniquities in dying

Abstract:

Femicide is the murder of women as the result of gender inequalities. It is the most extreme form of violence against women. The theoretical and methodological frame of reference used in this study was patriarchy theory and critical discourse analysis. We analyzed the discourses from 64 police inquiries categorized as femicides in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, from 2006 to 2010. The victims were mostly poor young women living in outlying areas of the city with high rates of prostitution and women murdered by the drug traffic, deaths not routinely classified as femicides by the police. Many inquiries were shelved for purported lack of evidence, and many other cases were not even started. The discourse in the police reports often demeaned and blamed the victims, although some criticized the inequalities between men and women and identified the lethal effects of male chauvinism. Police inquiries are important sources for studying femicide in society, adding abundant information on the crimes’ victims, perpetrators, and scenarios.

Keywords:
Homicide; Violence Against Women; Sexism

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