In 1976, South African sociologist Diana E. H. Russell introduced the term "femicide" at the International Tribunal on Crimes against Women in an effort to draw attention to the fact that the majority of female homicides are committed in a sexist and misogynist context. Russell describes femicide as "the killing of female persons by male persons because they are female". In other words, killings committed based on gender.
In the 90s, feminist academics and activists in Latin America began referring to the concept more widely. International organizations such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations adopted the term in the 2010s.
Femicide is a global crime that exists because societies are structured along patriarchal social norms.