Gendercide In The 17th Century

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For the 16th and 17th centuries of early modern European history, many societies were consumed by a trepidation over alleged theories of witchcraft and sorcery in their communities. “Witch-hunts”, especially in Central Europe, resulted in the trial, torture, and execution of tens of thousands of victims, a large proportion of whom were women . In England alone, more than 90 percent of those convicted of witchcraft were women, and the few men who were accused were generally married to a woman who had already been deemed guilty of the offence . Although there are numerous ideas behind the explanation of this witch-craze, there are few which explain why it was almost exclusively women who were targeted. It is possible to say that neither before nor since these centuries have adult European women been the main focus for such a large scale barbarity. While it is fair to say that there was a certain amount of fear, suspicion and a genuine belief of witchcraft and magic among the people of the 16th and 17th century in Europe, the realistic outlook upon this atrocity is that there was a form of gendercide taking place in these countries, namely that of “femicide” – the crime associated with the violent and deliberate killing of a woman .
Gendercide by its definition is the deliberate extermination of persons of a particular sex (or gender) . While in the case of the witch-craze there were a small number of males accused, it was primarily women, which would permit the use of the
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