Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal


In response to rates of violence against women that rank among the highest in the world, Guatemala enacted the Law Against Femicide and Other Forms of Violence Against Women in 2008. Unfortunately, the law does not seem to be rectifying the deeply rooted problem of gender-based violence that plagues Guatemala. A 2010 report by the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies and later investigation in collaboration with the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic at UC Hastings revealed the degree to which Guatemala is failing to protect women from gender-motivated attack.

This article first surveys the scope of the problem of violence against women in Guatemala. It then sets out the country's legal framework for addressing that violence, and examines data suggesting the law's ineffectiveness. Finally, the article explores possible reasons for the law's failure to protect women and suggests solutions.

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