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Jamea Jonae Harris

23-year-old Birmingham woman Jamea Jonae Harris was shot to death, allegedly with a gun belonging to a former University of Alabama basketball player. | Source: Facebook

When the story of Shanquella Robinson’s death made national news, the relatively unfamiliar term Femicide was associated with her death. 

MORE: Violence Against Black Women Is A Disturbing And Growing Epidemic–Black Men Why Aren’t We Protecting Them?

For Americans, the term Femicide rarely enters our lexicon. That is because in the U.S. femicide is not defined by US legislation, but it’s certainly a problem.

What is the meaning of femicide?

According to Women’s Aid, femicide is defined as the murder of women because they are women, though some definitions include any murders of women or girls. Femicide is most commonly used to describe the killings of women by intimate partners and family members. It has also been used to describe gender-related killings in the community. 

The term was introduced in the last century to describe gender-related killings of women. It also brings awareness to the impact of inequality and discrimination. This in many ways is the root cause of violence against women.

It is important to understand that most women who are the victims of femicide are likely to be killed by someone closest to them. A woman is killed by her male partner or former partner every four days. According to UN Women, In 2021, around 45,000 women and girls worldwide were killed by their intimate partners or other family members. This includes fathers, mothers, uncles, and brothers. For Black women, those numbers are even worse. 

Black femicide 

According to the Violence Policy Center, Black women in the U.S. were three times more likely to be murdered in domestic abuse situations and 90% of black female victims know their killers. According to the CDC, domestic violence is one of the leading causes of death for Black women ages 15-35. Black femicide is also a global issue. In 2021, Africa had the second-largest number of female intimate partner and family-related killings, trailing China by just a few hundred deaths. 

Femicide in Mexico 

The country of Mexico is one of the worst places in the world when it comes to combating Femicide. According to PBS, in 2021 Mexico had more than 1,000 femicides, with an average of 10 women or girls killed daily.

Mexican officials say the rise of femicides is mostly due to gender inequality, domestic violence and a culture seeped in misogyny.

How Do We Stop Femicide?

Ending femicide starts with laws to combat gender-based violence. This means educating young people about the root causes of violence, sexual harassment, rape culture, etc. Understanding the problem early can create empathy among young men when it comes to young women. 

Systematic inequality must also be addressed. Equal rights, equal pay, and equal protection under the law are important for empowering women to feel safe.  Women’s rights organizations also play a huge role in combating femicide as well as violence against women. One way you can help in the fight is to financially support and partner with women’s rights organizations. They are crucial in reducing and preventing gender-related killings and violence against women and girls.

MORE: Arrest Warrant For Shanquella Robinson’s ‘Friend’ Languishes As Family Demands Justice

Below are some femicide cases you should know about.

1. Jamea Jonae Harris

Jamea Jonae Harris, woman killed in Alabama shooting 1/15/2023 Source:facebook

Jamea Jonae Harris, 23, died after two men, including the now-former University of Alabama men’s basketball team player Darius Miles, allegedly shot her for refusing their advances early Sunday morning in Tuscaloosa.

Harris’ family spoke with local media and made it clear that her 5-year-old son meant everything to her.

“She was a beautiful young woman who loved her family and most of all her 5-year-old son Kaine,’’ DeCarla Cotton told “She was just trying to enjoy her weekend with her cousin that attends the University of Alabama and her boyfriend.”

Harris’ cousin, Kennedi Henderson, described Harris as a uniting factor in the family.

“She was a humble soul, and she was always a happy soul. We literally grew up together,” Henderson told “She kept the cousins together and pushed us to be the best us. She was the best little cousin I can ask for, honestly.”

2. Shanquella Robinson

Shanquella Robinson Prosecutors decline charges Source:iOne Digital

Shanquella Robinson and as many as six of her friends arrived at Cabo on Oct. 28, 2022 The next day, she was allegedly shown on video footage being beaten up by another young woman. It appeared that at least two people were filming the violence – the person who recorded the video posted on social media and another person whose phone could also be seen recording the footage. During the violence, a man’s voice could be heard imploring “Quella” — the woman identified as Robinson — to “at least fight back.”

While Robinson’s friends blamed her death on alcohol poisoning, an autopsy performed by Mexican authorities determined that she did not have alcohol in her system.

A Mexican police report claims that a doctor from a local hospital was with Robinson and other people staying at the villa for almost three hours before she was pronounced dead on Oct. 29.

According to the police report, an hour into Gutiérrez’s house visit Robinson began to have a seizure. 911 was called shortly after by one of the housemates. By this point, Shanquella Robinson was struggling to survive. She was suffering from difficulty breathing and a lowered pulse. At 4:49 p.m., Gutierrez detected Robinson had stopped having a pulse. They quickly began giving her CPR.

There has been no arrest in the murder of Shanquella Robinson.