This issue of ACLW’s Leading Issues Journal features a significant personal reflection by Casey Hirst of her experiences working in the field of domestic and family violence (DFV) in Mexico. Casey is an Australian living in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Luis Gómez Romero, a senior lecturer in human rights, constitutional law and legal theory, and María de la Macarena Iribarne González, a lecturer at the law school, both at the University of Wollongong, attest to the fact that Mexico is Latin America’s second-deadliest place for women after Brazil. In their article published by The Conversation, they write: “With 1,812 women murdered between January and July this year — about 10 a day — Mexico is Latin America’s second-most dangerous country for women, after Brazil, according to the United Nations. More than 200 Mexican women have been kidnapped so far in 2019…Yet Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador — who was elected last year in a landslide with a progressive gender agenda and promises to “transform” Mexico — has not followed through on promises to expand women’s rights. In fact, his administration has rolled back some the few federal policies designed to protect and empower Mexican women.”
In her article, Casey Hirst explains why she chooses to continue her work in DFV in Mexico, despite the incredible challenges she faces including the country’s profuse culture of domestic violence, entrenched gender bias, and feeling personally unsafe being a woman. Casey recounts her experience of DV in Mexico and asks, “How did I, a smart and strong women with a career of working in domestic violence, find myself in a controlling relationship with a violent man?”
Casey Hirst’s article is a powerful and moving reflection of a resilient and courageous woman determined to be present for women in Mexico who experience gender abuse and violence as a norm, and her resolve to “educate the boys and men around me and encourage women to safely find their options when they need them.“
Also featured in this Issue is Thomas Mayor’s reflection of witnessing the momentous creation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017. Thomas explains the impact it has had on him and how he is galvanising a national Call to Action. If you would like to register your support and access campaign materials, Thomas Mayor’s campaign website is www.1voiceuluru.org
Thomas believes that “we will only find the heart of our nation when the First peoples – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – are recognised with a representative Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution.” His new book, ‘Finding the Heart of the Nation’ includes interviews with 20 key Indigenous people whose voices, he observes, make clear what the Uluru Statement is and why it is so important. He hopes readers will be moved to join them, along with the growing movement of Australians who want to see substantive constitutional change.
Finally as we await the national release of the movie ‘Ride Like a Girl,’ the story of Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, this Issue features a short personal reflection by Natalie Scanlon on when and how she developed resilience and how it enabled her to find her purpose in her career. Rachel Griffiths, Director of ‘Ride Like a Girl‘ says she was inspired to make the movie by Payne’s ‘persistence, resilience, determination, focus and passion.’
I hope you find ACLW’s 2019 Leading Issues Journal insightful.