Juana Merino, Maria José Pulido, and Purificación Salas have been awarded the Meninas 2023 prizes for their fight against this social scourge.
CÁCERES, Nov. 22.
Currently, Extremadura has 2,215 active cases of gender violence within the VioGen system (1,224 in the province of Badajoz and 991 in the province of Cáceres), and around 1,500 women have police protection measures.
Out of these 2,215 women, 447 victims are active users of the Atenpro system (Telephone Service for Attention and Protection of Victims of Gender Violence), and 69 women have an active electronic tracking device.
These are the data that have been made known during the awards ceremony for Meninas 2023, which the Government Delegation in Extremadura awards to different individuals for their work and involvement in the fight against macho violence, protection of minors, and awareness of work and family life.
In this edition, the awards have been given to Juana Merino, legal officer of the Court for Violence against Women No. 1 in Badajoz; Maria José Pulido, teacher and former councilor for equality in the City Council of Cáceres; and Purificación Salas, lawyer and currently advisor on equality and gender violence for the Government Delegation in Extremadura.
During the awards ceremony, held at the ILM building of the University of Extremadura in Cáceres, the Government Delegate in Extremadura, Francisco Mendoza, stated that social awareness is fundamental to continue advancing in this fight after learning about the first European survey published on gender violence.
This survey reveals that one in four women is aware of having suffered some type of physical or psychological violence from their partners or ex-partners throughout their lives. "That is to say, women themselves have a higher level of awareness and perception of violent behavior towards themselves," he said.
And, "very importantly," the delegate classified it, awareness of being a victim of gender violence has doubled in younger women. He also recalled that so far this year, 54 women have been killed by their partners or ex-partners, "an unsustainable fact," said the government delegate.
Mendoza expressed his gratitude to the three award winners for "their example of fighting against gender violence, as well as for carrying out immense work to raise awareness among society about this problem."
The Government Delegate concluded by saying that "we must continue with the same commitment and with the hope that things are changing, and that, together, we will be able to leave our young people a more equal, fair, and free world without gender violence."
On the other hand, one of the award winners, former councilor María José Pulido, expressed her "pride" in receiving this award and hoped that it would "serve to make violence visible in society" and "create awareness that this is a social problem." "The whole society has to act against it, fight against the denialism that is being imposed on us now, and, of course, encourage more people to join this fight," she pointed out.
Another awardee, lawyer Juana Merino, highlighted that she has been working for 13 years in the Court for Violence against Women in Badajoz and emphasized the importance of these types of courts and the need to "providing them with sufficient material and personnel resources to provide a prompt response to both the victim and the aggressor."
"I have confidence and hope, and we will continue to fight, that one day all of us here can enjoy and know a dignified, equal, and healthy society without abuse," she underscored in statements to the media before the award ceremony.
Also, the third awardee, Purificación Salas, advisor in the Cabinet of the Government Delegation of Extremadura, highlighted her work for women's rights for many years and as a precursor to the Comprehensive Law against Gender Violence.
In addition to these three awards, the Government Delegation has presented four Special Mentions, which have been awarded to José María Escobar Bazaga, sub-inspector of the National Police in Badajoz in the Family and Women Unit; posthumously to Marcelino Gil García, Captain of the Civil Guard in the Organic Unit of Judicial Police in Cáceres; Marcial Flores Morón, Local Police officer in Plasencia in the Women and Minors section; and to the Equality section for eldiario.es Extremadura.
12 students from the Professional Dance Conservatory of Cáceres participated in the ceremony, premiering a contemporary dance piece titled 'Free Meninas'. This work was specially created for the presentation of these awards, created by playwright Marce Solís and featuring choreography by professors Amparo Jiménez and Maria Adelina Sánchez.
Among the attendees were the President of the Extremadura Assembly, Blanca Martín; the Secretary General for Equality of the Extremadura Regional Government, Ara Sánchez; the Subdelegate of the Government in Cáceres, José Antonio García; the President of the Cáceres Provincial Council, Miguel Ángel Morales; the Deputy of the Badajoz Provincial Council Paqui Silva; and the Mayor of Cáceres, Rafael Mateos, among other authorities.