The bodies of Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister, Sofia Trinidad, 23, were found almost a week after they disappeared after being seen leaving a party near the city of Santa Barbara, in Honduras. Maria Alvaro was due to fly to London this week to compete in the Miss World competition as Miss Honduras. Plutarco Ruiz, Sofia’s boyfriend has confessed to killing both women, allegedly because he was angry and jealous after seeing her dance with another man.
Men’s violence against women is a cause and consequence of sex inequality between women and men. We need to make the connections between the objectification of women and violence against women. While women are seen and judged as decorative objects judged by sexist beauty standards and simultaneously as men’s possessions, women and men can never be equal; and as long as we have sex inequality, we will have male violence against women. The ‘Miss World’ competition is part of the problem.
Honduras has the sixth highest rate of femicide in the world, a woman is violently murdered every 18 hours, 245 women were killed in the first six months of 2012, over 3000 women killed in a decade.
And yet femicide – the systemic killing of women because they are women – rarely makes the news. If it does, it is usually because, as in the case of the murder of Maria Jose Alvaradom the woman herself is seen as newsworthy. Across the world, hundreds of women are violently killed every day. So far this year, in the UK, at least 131 women have been killed through suspected male violence. Ordinary women killed by ordinary men, violence so ordinary that it is rarely front-page news.