Thursday 22 August 2019

'Our entire society is sick with sexism' - Macron on violence against women

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his speech (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his speech (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)

Hundreds of women have marched in Paris in protest at violence against women, with some telling French President Emmanuel Macron to increase funding to meet his ambitions for change.

Raphaelle Remy-Leleu of the group Dare Feminism complained during the march that France had no fully-fledged ministry for women's affairs.

The women marched shortly after Mr Macron announced an initiative to address violence and harassment against women in France, with plans aimed at erasing the sense of shame that breeds silence among victims and changing France's sexist culture.

In a speech marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Mr Macron laid out a plan to encourage women to take action, strengthen laws against offenders and educate citizens on the issue, starting from nursery school.

He said that 123 women died of violence against them in France last year. Holding a moment of silence for them, he said: "It is time for shame to change camps."

Marches were also held in other cities.

In Rome the noisy procession included participants who run safe houses for women escaping violent husbands or boyfriends and other groups.

The women were pushing for more attention from politicians, including funding, for shelters and other institutions.

Some banners read Free To Be and Free To Live.

In Istanbul hundreds of protesters gathered despite being told by police that the march would not be allowed. The protesters, mostly women, shouted chants including "We won't be silent" and "We aren't afraid".

Violence against women is one of the most "widespread, persistent and devastating" rights violations across the world, according to the United Nations.

Monitoring group FemicideMap reported at least 1,915 women were killed in Turkey in the past seven years. The perpetrator was a victim's husband or boyfriend in 995 cases.

PA Media

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