BRASILIA, Brazil, March 11 (UPI) -- Brazil's tough new law imposes harsh sentences for the killing of women and girls, and the legislation is seen as a victory for Brazilian women.
The crime of "femicide," described in the law as any homicide which includes domestic violence, and contempt or discrimination against women, will carry more severe penalties in the form of longer prison terms. It also includes additional penalties for crimes committed against pregnant women, those under 14, women over 60 and people with disabilities.
Nadine Gasman, head of the agency United Nations Women in Brazil, said, "The law identifies femicide as a specific phenomenon. This kind of law is preventive in nature."
The law is named after Maria de Penha, a Brazilian woman left a parapalegic after 14 years of beatings, and two murder attempts, by her husband.
Similar legislation has been passed in other Latin American countries, including El Salvador, which has the world's highest rate murdered women.