domenica 15 febbraio 2015

Femicide: my publications

SPINELLI B. Violazione dei diritti umani e femminicidi commessi da Isis: come intervenire? Il ruolo dei movimenti femministi e le attività davanti agli organismi internazionali per i diritti umani, in AA.VV. “Donne curde in Iraq, Siria, Europa. Praticare la libertà contro la guerra senza fine del sistema patriarcale”, Edizioni Punto Rosso, 2015.

SPINELLI B. La violenza maschile sulle donne, capitolo 3, in AA.VV. “Diritti delle donna. Diritti del mondo”, Manuale di educazione ai diritti umani, OXFAM, 2014, pp. 59-73.

SPINELLI B. Perché si chiama femminicidio, in AA.VV. “FEMMINICIDIO - Il femminile impossibile da sopportare”, ebook, 2014,

SPINELLI B. Prevenzione del femminicidio e accesso alla giustizia penale per le sopravvissute alla violenza domestica: dal d.l. 93/2013 alla l. 119/2013, tra volontà di riforma ed incoerenza sistemica, in “RIVISTA AIAF” n. 3/2013

SPINELLI B. Femminicidio e riforme legislative,  in “QUESTIONE GIUSTIZIA” n. 6/2013, Franco Angeli editore

SPINELLI B. Italia: el aumento de los feminicidios y su invisibilidad política,  in “FEMINICIDIO: UN FENÓMENO GLOBAL DE MADRID A SANTIAGO”,
Publicado por la Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung – Unión Europea, Edición: Patricia Jiménez, Katherine Ronderos y Carlos Mascarell Vilar - Producido por Micheline Gutman, D/2013/11.850/1, Bruselas, Impreso en Bélgica, Enero 2013, p.34.

Published by the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Vienna Liaison Office, Edited by: Claire Laurent, Michael Platzer and Maria Idomir

SPINELLI B. Il diritto non è neutro: per decenni è stato maschilista, in “Costituzione: sostantivo femminile - sinonimi e contrari dei principi fondamentali”, AA.VV., INCA-CGIL, 2013

SPINELLI B. La sfida è rompere le complicità istituzionali, in “Questo non è amore. Venti storie raccontano la violenza domestica sulle donne”, AA.VV., A cura di La 27ma ora, MARSILIO, 2013

SPINELLI B. “Femicide and feminicide in Europe. Gender-motivated killings of women as a result of        intimate partner violence”, Expert paper  presented during the EGM on gender-motivated killings      of women, organized by UN Special Rapporteur on VAW, Rashida Manjoo, a New York, il 12 Ottobre 2011.

SPINELLI B.  L’Italia rispetta la CEDAW? Il femminicidio in Italia alla luce delle Raccomandazioni delle  Nazioni Unite, in “Universo femminile. La CEDAW  tra diritto e politiche”, AA.VV. – A cura di Ines Corti, eum edizioni università di Macerata, 2012

SPINELLI B. Il primo rapporto mondiale delle Nazioni Unite sui femminicidi, in “Femicidio. Corredo Culturale”, Regione Emilia Romagna – Assessorato Promozione Politiche Sociali, A cura di C. Karadole e A. Pramstrahler, 2012 Il riconoscimento giuridico dei concetti di femmicidio e femminicidio (in  “Femicidio: dati e riflessioni intorno ai delitti per violenza di genere” Regione Emilia Romagna – Assessorato Promozione Politiche Sociali, A cura di C. Karadole e A. Pramstrahler, 2011

SPINELLI B. Il riconoscimento giuridico dei concetti di femmicidio e femminicidio (in  “Femicidio: dati e riflessioni intorno ai delitti per violenza di genere” Regione Emilia Romagna – Assessorato Promozione Politiche Sociali, A cura di C. Karadole e A. Pramstrahler, 2011 

SPINELLI B. Maschi perché uccidete le donne? Il femminicidio non è un fatto privato, riguarda l’intera collettività, in “Mia per sempre. Femminicidio e violenza sulle donne”, AA.VV. - A cura di G. Salvatore, Franco Angeli, 2011

SPINELLI B. Femicide e feminicidio: nuove prospettive per una lettura gender oriented dei crimini contro donne e lesbiche, Questione Criminale n. 2/2008, Carocci Editore

SPINELLI B. Femminicidio. Dalla denuncia sociale al riconoscimento giuridico internazionale, FrancoAngeli, 2008

SPINELLI B. “Violenza sulle donne: parliamo di femminicidio. Spunti di riflessione per affrontare a livello globale il problema della violenza sulle donne con una prospettiva di genere”, Giuristi Democratici, 2006

venerdì 10 ottobre 2014

Feminicide and kurdish women's struggle for freedom in Irak, Siria and Europe


The genocide in act in the southern area of Kurdistan (northern Iraq) and in Rojava (Kobane) affects particularly women's freedom and right to life. As it happened in other conflicts, the practice of genocide has expanded and evolved to include more visible and pronounced attacks on women as a group.
Mass feminicides perpetrated by ISIS can be considered  crimes against humanity, as they are  part of the “Islamic state” policy, and also are part of a widespread practice of explicit targeting of violence against women and girls.
Feminicide acts are used by ISIS forces as a tool of patriarchal oppression and as a weapon to destroy ethnic and religious minorities.
Feminicide is the kidnapping and rape of yazidi women, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, forced marriages, female genital mutilation and also girls and women's suicide to escape this brutal destiny.
Feminicide is a crime against humanity that need to be condemned and persecuted by international community. States have the duty under international human rights law to prevent and respond to violation occurring in conflict and post conflict situations, also when committed by non-State armed groups.
Also in conflict situations, right of women to not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment must be guaranteed by States, as stated by CEDAW General Recommendation n. 30. Cedaw convention has been ratified both by Turkey, Iraq and Siria.
I join TJKE in the call for the humanitarian protection of the rights of all displaced women and girls and the prevention of women's rights abuses.
I also express my appreciation to all the kurdish women combatants in Women's Defense Units (YPJ), for being the first to protect Yezîdîs after the ISIS attacks, and to be part of resistence movement against ISIS fundamentalist aggression.
With sorority and international solidarity, we jointly organized an international meeting that will take place tomorrow in Rome.

Barbara Spinelli
Attorney at law in Italy, coordinator of women's right research unit of Giuristi Democratici, italian branch of IADL - International Association of Democratic  Lawyers.
Author of a number of publications on femicide, during the expert group meeting on gender – motivated killings of women,  convened in 2011 by the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women Rashida Manjoo, she presented the Expert Paper on “Femicide and feminicide in Europe. Gender motivated killings of women as a result of intimate partner violence” .

giovedì 30 maggio 2013

Italy may finally be recognising that women aren't "dispensable"

Italy may finally be recognising that women aren't "dispensable"

THE TELEGRAPH, 30.05.2013
Article by Marta Cooper

Italy has just ratified a European treaty which seeks to combat violence against women. It's a small step in the right direction for a country battling a plague of femicides and deeply entrenched sexism, writes Marta Cooper.

Deep in Italy’s southern Calabria region, the town of Corigliano Calabro laid to rest one of its residents on Tuesday. Last Friday, just weeks short of her 16th birthday, Fabiana Luzzi was allegedly stabbed repeatedly, doused with petrol and set alight by her boyfriend.
As locals mourned Fabiana’s death, in Rome Italy’s Chamber of Deputies was ratifying the Council of Europe Istanbul convention, a treaty aimed at combating and preventing violence against women. The Convention stipulates: “It is the obligation of the state to fully address it in all its forms and to take measures to prevent violence against women, protect its victims and prosecute the perpetrators. Failure to do so would make it the responsibility of the state.”
Fabiana’s horrifying murder has shocked a country which is becoming increasingly aware of its plague of femminicidio (femicide). Figures from helpline Telefono Rosa confirmed by Italy’s national statistics body, Istat,show that a woman in Italy was killed every two days in 2012, compared to every three days in 2011. Furthermore, 47 women were victims of ‘attempted femicide’ last year, according to the latest research from Bologna-based women’s organisation Casa delle Donne.
Efforts are being made to put the issue on the national agenda. In her inaugural speech in March, Chamber of Deputies speaker Laura Boldrini pledged to “take charge of the humiliation of women suffering violence masquerading as love".
But in order to really “take charge”, Italy has a bitter pill to swallow first. As Barbie Latza Nadeau writes in this excellent piece, Italy is beset by “a serious cultural flaw that somehow enables Italian men to believe women are dispensable.” It is still a deeply chauvinist and sexist society. Over the past two decades misogynistic perceptions of women have been reinforced by the mass media, with private television channels owned by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and state-owned broadcasters regularly casting women as showgirls.
report by the UN’s special rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, also makes for a jarring read. Citing the work of lawyer Barbara Spinelli, Manjoo notes that among the causes leading to femicide are “honour, men’s unemployment and jealousy by the perpetrator”. Consider, too, that it was only in 1981 that provisions in Italy’s penal code which allowed for a reduced penalty for those found guilty of killing their spouse, daughter or sister to defend the ‘honour’ of the family were repealed.
This week’s vote will not fix entrenched attitudes in a culture in which women have for so long been solely considered either mothers or lovers. The vote now needs to be repeated in Italy’s Senate in order to officially pass, and the convention itself needs the ratification of at least 10 countries to take effect (Italy is the fifth nation to ratify the treaty). The onus is now on the Italian government to follow through with the convention’s provisions: it can no longer rely on mere rhetoric.
Mourning is an intense, slow and long affair in Italy, and now is perhaps a crass moment to show any signs of celebration. But, amid the grief for one teenage girl whose life was so brutally cut short, it is of some reassurance that steps are finally being made to ensure no other girl or woman should face the same fate as Fabiana.

domenica 17 febbraio 2013

Femicide in Italy

Men Who Hate Women

The young woman, a student, had been violently raped by a man she trusted; then left for dead in a pool of her own blood in a snow bank outside a club one winter evening last year. Miraculously, she survived the attack, though the operation to reconstruct her vagina and repair her cervix and uterus took many hours. Her assailant had used an unidentified blunt object during the rape, the doctor testified.
Francesco Tuccia, 22, the man eventually convicted of her rape, asked if he could leave the courtroom during the doctor’s graphic testimony, and was escorted out. His victim stayed as Tuccia’s lawyers argued that he had only used his hands, and that her injuries were due to her petite stature. This, his lawyers argued, was a “loving relationship between two consenting adults.” Tuccia’s passions may have been unbridled, they said, but were certainly not malicious.
Because of Tuccia’s military service and lack of prior criminal record, he was sentenced to just eight years in prison, part of which he can spend under house arrest. Meanwhile, “A” may never recover from the psychological effects of the rape—the details of which she has suppressed and which only appear in disturbing flashes. Her wounds will take more surgery to repair and she is in chronic pain. And it is unclear whether she will ever be able to bear children. It feels like, she told the court, that she was the one handed a life sentence. “I want my life to be like it was before, but I can never return to that,” she said. “I want to be able to be free, to not be afraid to leave my house. He took that away from me.”
The attack on “A” isn’t unusual. Rather, she is just one among tens of thousands women who are victims of sexual assault in Italy, a country that has long ignored violence against women. According to the United Nations, a third of all women in Italy are at some point victims of domestic abuse. And last year, 120 women were killed by their husbands, exes or boyfriends in so-called femicide attacks—a number that may sound small until you consider that, in Italy, one woman is slain every three days.
As The Daily Beast reported last year, though violence against women is finally getting the attention it deserves, the number of women killed in Italy has been steadily growing—about 10 percent every year for the past three years—a faster rate than any other European country, according to Non Siamo Complici, or We Are Not Accomplices, a group that is working to empower women to stand up to domestic violence.
Though statistics on femicide are hard to come by, according to the United Nations, 50 percent of women killed between 2008 and 2010 in Europe were killed by a family member. For men, that number was just 15 percent. In other words, women are killed by those who supposedly love them. Only six weeks into the year, already nine women in Italy have been murdered by their husbands, exes, or boyfriends.
(In Spain, another European country with high rates of femicide, so far, 13 women have been killed this year. Last year, 97 women were killed in Spain—35 more than in 2011.)
In many cases, men feel insecure or threatened because their wives or girlfriends say no to sex or attempt to leave the relationship, says Diana E. H. Russell, Ph.D., a Professor of Sociology at Mills College in Oakland, California, and one of the world’s foremost experts on violence against women. “It’s a macho acting-out of the attitude, ‘How dare you—you inferior bitch—leave me!’” she says. It’s “acting out his feelings of male superiority.”
Last year in Italy, women were shot, stabbed, burned alive, and pushed off balconies. Some were suffocated with pillow cases. Others were strangled by the cords of electronic appliances. One Italian woman was stabbed with a stiletto heel.
“From the burning of witches in the past to the more recent widespread custom of female infanticide in many societies, to the killing of women for ‘honor’… femicide has been going on a long time,” says Russell who first testified about femicide at the International Tribunal of Crimes against Women in Brussels in 1976. Her book Femicide: The Politics of Woman Killing, resulted in the term being adopted in more than 15 countries in Latin America. 
Femicides, Russell argues, are hate crimes, just like the killing of people on account of race, sexual preference, or ethnicity. However, in male-dominated societies—such as Italy and Spain—femicides are still tolerated to a large extent.
“This is reflected in the laws as well as in the norms and values,” she says. “Men are considered the head of “their” families, and many believe their wives should be subservient to them. When their power is threatened, many lash out violently.”
Barbara Spinelli, an Italian lawyer, teaches seminars on the topic to other lawyers, social workers, police officers, teachers and those who work and counsel battered women across Europe. According to her, 70 percent of women murdered in Italy are murdered by their partner or ex partner or relative—and victims fall across the socioeconomic spectrum, she says.
“The problem is that men aren’t able to accept the end of a love story,” she says. “It’s not only a problem of power in the society; it’s a problem of self-determination: nowhere in the world do men accept the loss of control over the women’s life choices.” Spinelli believes part of the problem is the distorted and stereotyped portrayal of women in the media as either mothers or sex objects.
According to an unprecedented global 2012 study in the American Political Science Review published by Cambridge University Press, research “found astonishingly high rates of sexual assault, stalking, trafficking, violence in intimate relationships, and other violations of women.” According to the study’s co-author, S. Laurel Weldon, “in Europe it is a bigger danger to women than cancer, with 45 percent of European women experiencing some form of physical or sexual violence. Rates are similar in North America, Australia, and New Zealand.”
Latin America, commonly perceived to have a bigger problem than Europe, for example, has done much more to tackle the problem. “People have a misconception that it’s worse in Latin America, but it’s not,” she told The Daily Beast. “Europe has been slow to join the party.”
Partly, that is due to a persistent cultural taboo and the enduring acceptance of domestic violence as a private family matter.  “People tend to dismiss domestic violence—and even women are still reluctant to report threats,” she said, pointing to a 1999 Eurobarometer report that showed that 40 percent of European women accepted domestic violence as a justifiable act.
In a survey taken in 2010, the numbers had much improved with less than 10 percent harboring the same attitude. Still, the reluctance to speak out is worrying. In the second survey, 91 percent of Italian women reported that they believed domestic violence is a common occurrence in their country, but there was nothing they could do about it.
The most effective way to combat femicide involves eradicating misogyny and discrimination against women.  As Weldon says: “The problem with the criminal justice reaction is that you are just serving victims. If you don’t find a way to prevent the abuse by changing the mentality, you won’t actually solve the problem.”

lunedì 26 novembre 2012

Symposium on femicide in Vienna

FEMICIDE – a Global Issue that Demands Action

A symposium organized by the Academic Council on United Nations System, Small Arms Survey,and by the Vienna NGO Committee on the Status of Women; sponsored by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, by the Permanent Missions of Thailand and the United Kingdom, and supported by the Permanent Missions of Bosnia Herzegovina, Chile, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Spain and the United Nations Vienna