Monday March 04, 2024

International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women 2023 marked with solidarity parades

Protesters are marching around Europe and the Americas on the UN-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

By Web Desk
November 25, 2023
Women protesting against child marriages and rape. — AFP/File
Women protesting against child marriages and rape. — AFP/File

Thousands of people worldwide will be protesting violence against women on the streets on Saturday as part of an international day that calls attention to systematic discrimination against women and girls.

Protesters marched around Europe and the Americas on the UN-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

"The scourge of gender-based violence continues to inflict pain and injustice on too many," US President Joe Biden said in a statement.

"An estimated one in three women globally will experience physical violence, rape, or stalking at some point in their lifetimes. It's an outrage."

"Particularly in areas of conflict, countless women and girls suffer at the hands of perpetrators who commit gender-based violence and use rape as a weapon of war."

"We know what is at stake: whenever and wherever women and girls are under threat, so too is peace and stability", Biden said.

In Guatemala, demonstrators began the observance of the 438 women who have died so far this year on Friday night by lighting candles.

Protesters bearing victim photos marched through Santiago, Chile.

The murder of a 22-year-old university student in Italy—said to have been committed by her ex-boyfriend—shook the country. Roughly 50,000 people protested in Rome on Saturday, when the Colosseum was scheduled to be lighted up in red.

The tragedy of Giulia Cecchettin, who vanished for a week just before she was supposed to get her biomedical engineering degree from the University of Padua, has shocked the nation.

Eventually, her corpse was discovered in a ravine some 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Venice, and her 22-year-old ex-boyfriend Filippo Turetta was taken into custody in Germany.

"This year... takes on particularly important connotations for us... for those in this country who care about the rights, claims and emancipation of all women, following yet another femicide, the killing of Giulia Cecchettin", said Luisa Loduce, a 22-year-old librarian.

The interior ministry reports that as of November 12, there had been 102 murder cases in Italy involving female victims, 82 of whom were slain by family members or by partners, either present or past.

Approximately 500 women convened in Istanbul's Sisli neighbourhood while riot police watched on, raising banners that read, "We will not remain silent" and "Women are united and fighting against male-state violence".

In Ankara, protesters also went to the streets.

Thousands of protesters in France carried placards stating "Gender Equality" as they made their way through the freezing streets of Paris and other towns. Many of them were dressed in purple, the colour of women, "One rape every six minutes in France" and "Protect your girls, educate your boys".

"We don´t want to count the dead any more," Maelle Lenoir, an official from the All of Us activist group, told reporters, urging the government to devote more money to eradicating violence against women.

Government statistics show that, as of now this year, France has reported 121 women slain in femicides, or the death of a woman because of her gender, as opposed to 118 in 2022.

The 22-year-old Leonore Maunoury declared during her march in Strasbourg, the eastern city, that the legal system needs to be adjusted in order to address the situation.

"Sexual violence is difficult to prove. Many cases are dismissed. The justice system is ill-adapted" to deal with the issue, she said.