Pathways to Missing Data about Feminicide in Mexico

Maria Gargiulo , London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Feminicide—the intentional killing of women and girls because of their gender—is an urgent human rights and public issue facing Mexico today. Since the issue first became legible in 1993, data documentation efforts have been central to raising awareness about feminicide, as well as studying the scale and patterns of this violence. Despite the importance of data documentation efforts, feminicide is still fundamentally a missing data problem and as a result, the most fundamental questions, such as a the number of feminicides that occurred in a particular time period, are currently nearly impossible to answer. Understanding the current limitations of feminicide data, particularly how and why data becomes missing, is a first step towards improving feminicide documentation in Mexico, as well as developing quantitative analyses to better understand the issue and its downstream implications for population health. This analysis uses an inductive approach based on 26 semi-structured expert interviews to identify and elaborate various pathways that lead data about feminicide in Mexico to become missing. Interview participants identified four major themes that structure missing data pathways in the context of feminicide in Mexico: (1) heterogeneity in definitions of feminicide and their operationalizations; (2) missing information in source materials; (3) inadequate or incomplete contextual information; and (4) the changing character of violence due to the so-called "war on drugs".

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 Presented in Session 28. Flash session New and Critical Perspectives on Data Collection and Measurement