Paris: Thousands protest in 'feminist tidal wave' against sexist violence
Tens of thousands of people rallied across Europe yesterday against sexist violence, with more than 30,000 turning out in Paris. Demonstrations across France drew around 50,000 people in all, according to organizer Caroline de Haas, to answer a citizen collective call for a "feminist tidal wave" of outrage against gender violence brought into sharp focus by the #MeToo movement. Here's more.
Demonstrators also gathered in Rome, Switzerland, Greece and Spain
Elsewhere, a thousand people braved the driving rain in Rome while similar protests drew several hundred demonstrators in Geneva (Switzerland) and Athens (Greece) on the eve of the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women today. In Spain's capital Madrid, several hundred people took to the streets to march as some shouted, "We are all here, the murderers are missing."
It's the largest (feminist) mobilization France has ever known: Organizer
However, authorities put the Paris turnout at 12,000 and similar marches in Lyon, Marseille, and Rennes at between 1,000-2,400, but De Haas felt moved to salute "the largest (feminist) mobilization France has ever known," far bigger than a rally that drew some 2,000 last year.
Participants demanded government resources to tackle the issue
French President Emmanuel Macron offered his support, tweeting, "The fight against violence against women is progressing daily but our society has a long way to go, everyone must act and fight as this is everybody's business." Participants clad in purple, the color of the #NousToutes women activists' protest movement, shouted slogans including "sick of rape" and demanded sufficient government resources to tackle the issue.
French actress Muriel Robin participated in rally to support victims
"I am here to support all the victims and continue this struggle which started long before I came along," said French actress Muriel Robin, who had organized a similar rally last month in Paris. The rallies drew a number of men also.
225,000 cases of domestic violence against women reported in 2017
The #NousToutes movement [which translates into "All of us (women)] started out in France in September, inspired by the #MeToo campaign that began last year since when the number of cases of sexual violence reported to police in France has risen 23%. Latest French government figures say 2017 saw 225,000 cases of domestic violence against women by their partners while 2016 saw 123 deaths.
Further marches planned in many cities across Europe today
Further marches are planned in a number of cities across Europe today. Macron last year made sexual equality a priority of his presidency. "But if the money is not forthcoming, the public policy won't follow on," warned De Haas, speaking two days after several the civil organizations called for a huge increase in public resources dedicated to the problem.
French PM announced online platform to report sexual violence
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced yesterday that an online platform for reporting sexual violence and sexism will be launched on Tuesday. "This is the first milestone, technical and political, to eradicate (violence)," said Philippe. He further said, "From now, a few clicks can help everyone make a new start: for themselves, for their family. And perhaps avoid the worst."