FEMICIDE Meaning & Definition

Understanding Femicide: Meaning and Definition


Femicide refers to the intentional killing of women and girls because of their gender. It is a severe form of gender-based violence, rooted in deep-seated gender inequalities, misogyny, and societal norms that devalue the lives of women and girls.


Femicide is defined as the murder of a woman or girl, primarily committed by men, due to the victim’s gender. It encompasses a range of violent acts, including but not limited to:

  • Intimate Partner Femicide: Killing of a woman by a current or former intimate partner. This is the most common form of femicide.
  • Honor Killings: Murders of women who are perceived to have brought shame or dishonor upon their family or community.
  • Dowry-Related Femicide: Killings related to disputes over dowry payments.
  • Non-Intimate Femicide: Murders committed by someone other than an intimate partner, including family members, acquaintances, or strangers, often driven by misogyny or hatred toward women.

Key Characteristics of Femicide

  1. Gender-Based Motivation: The core characteristic of femicide is that it is driven by gender-based discrimination, hatred, or prejudice.
  2. Cultural and Societal Factors: Femicide is often a reflection of broader societal issues such as patriarchy, gender inequality, and cultural practices that perpetuate violence against women.
  3. Patterns of Violence: Femicide frequently follows a pattern of escalating violence, often in the context of abusive relationships or systemic discrimination against women.

Impact of Femicide

Social Impact

  • Fear and Oppression: Femicide instills fear in women and girls, perpetuating a cycle of oppression and limiting their freedom and opportunities.
  • Community Trauma: The violent death of women has a profound impact on families, communities, and societies, contributing to a culture of violence and instability.

Legal and Policy Implications

  • Need for Legal Reforms: Addressing femicide requires strong legal frameworks that recognize gender-based violence and enforce strict penalties for perpetrators.
  • Protection and Support Services: It is crucial to provide protection and support services for women at risk of violence, including shelters, counseling, and legal aid.

Addressing Femicide


  • Education and Awareness: Raising awareness about gender-based violence and promoting gender equality through education.
  • Community Engagement: Involving communities in efforts to change cultural norms and attitudes that perpetuate violence against women.

Legal Measures

  • Strengthening Laws: Implementing and enforcing laws specifically targeting gender-based violence and femicide.
  • Accountability and Justice: Ensuring perpetrators are held accountable and victims receive justice.

Support Services

  • Hotlines and Shelters: Providing immediate support for women at risk of violence.
  • Counseling and Rehabilitation: Offering long-term support for survivors of violence and their families.


Femicide is a grave violation of human rights, reflecting deep-seated gender inequalities and cultural norms that perpetuate violence against women. Understanding its meaning and definition is crucial for recognizing the severity of this issue and taking action to prevent and address it. Through education, legal reforms, community engagement, and support services, societies can work towards eradicating femicide and promoting gender equality.

the authorD. Trump