Thousands of people took to the streets in Europe and Latin America on Thursday to demand the end of violence against women, as Turkish police fired tear gas to disperse protesters.
The rallies were held in commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with thousands of people marching in Mexico City, Madrid and Barcelona, while others gathered in Paris and London.
There were also conventions in Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Guatemala.
“They did not die. They were killed,” read one of the posters on the march in Mexico, a country where about 10 women are killed every day.
Across Latin America and the Caribbean, at least 4,091 women were killed by women in 2020, according to the United Nations regional agency.
An altercation erupted in Mexico City when a small number of protesters with a hammer tried to seize police shields, which were chased away by smoke bombs.
Matters came to a head in Istanbul as riot police fired tear gas to quell protests by hundreds of people who called on the government to take part in a global effort to protect women.
The Turkish government dropped the famous Istanbul conference earlier this year because its principles of gender equality undermine family culture, which angered campaigners.
So far this year, 345 women have been killed in Turkey, according to civil rights groups.
‘A global plague’
In Spain, where the government has made war on domestic violence a major national issue, thousands of people have marched through the streets of Madrid and Barcelona on a sea of purple flags, while others have gathered in Valencia, Seville and other cities around the country.
In the Spanish capital, men marching in purple, hats and scarves marched to the back of a large sign reading “Enough male violence against women. Answers now!”
“Not all of us are here, the dead are missing,” he sang loudly as he passed a spring of Cibeles and other historic houses illuminated in purple, with placards reading “Not a single death”.
“All over the world, it’s still a plague and a crisis,” Leslie Hoguin, a 30-year-old student and actor, told AFP.
“The time has come for our parents’ abuse of our bodies, our lives and our choices to end.”
Many are tired of the violence that women experience.
“We are sick of the abuses that are happening to us that are happening in so many different ways,” said Maria Moran, a 50-year-old civil servant.
“We want prostitution to end and murder, violence and rape to end.”
Back in 2004, Spain’s parliament ratified the first European Convention against Violence Against Women.
“Ending sexual violence is the most important thing in the country,” wrote on Twitter the Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, a self-proclaimed female activist whose minister is overseen by women.
“We will be a just people when we end all forms of violence against women.”
‘Living at Risk’
Nearly one in three women worldwide has experienced some form of sexual orientation, especially by someone they know, according to UN Women, the United Nations Commission on Gender Equality.
“Violence against women is a global problem. In all our communities there are women and girls at risk,” said senior Sima Bahous in a video message.
Pope Francis also announced.
“Women who are being abused need to be protected by the public,” she tweeted.
“The various ills that most women suffer are cowardly and represent the humiliation of men and of society as a whole. We cannot look away.”
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