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Revista interdisciplinaria de estudios de género de El Colegio de México

On-line version ISSN 2395-9185


FLORENCIA ACTIS, María. “Someone Had to Pay, Someone Had to Go to Jail”. The Life Story of a Woman Accused of Infanticide. Rev. interdiscip. estud. género Col. Méx. [online]. 2022, vol.8, e909.  Epub Sep 12, 2022. ISSN 2395-9185.

This work is about the life story of a woman who has been detained since 2001, sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of her three children by her ex-partner. The objective is to analyze the justice system’s role in cases of infanticide and its effects on women's lives, but also the additional punishment of serving time in prison under the stigma of having killed a child. A combined biographical and ethnographic approach includes fragments of a biographical interview woven together with intersecting accounts and field records made between 2016 and 2019, as she was accompanied both inside prison and on the outside. Centrally, it is observed that the justice system, through a continuum of decisions-omissions, is a device to cause suffering that ignores and exacerbates the contexts of violence, inequality and loneliness of those women accused. The research contributes to feminist studies by problematizing and shedding light on the specific and multidirectional gender violence affecting women accused of infanticide in Argentina, it also shows their resistance mechanisms, or ways of “beating the system.”

Keywords : infanticide; maternity; imprisoned women; justice administration; experiences.

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