Thousands march against violence in France after 130 women killed this year

Monday marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

 

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Paris and other French cities on Saturday to protest against domestic violence in the wake of the killing of what is believed to be more than 130 women by their partner or ex-partner in France so far this year.

In Paris, the mostly female activists chanted “Abuser, you’ve had it, women are in the street” and held purple placards bearing the names of female victims and slogans such as “not another murder more”. Purple is a symbolic colour used by the women’s rights movement.

President Emmanuel Macron expressed his solidarity after the protest. “I give my support to every woman who has experienced gender-based or sexual violence. Count on me to continue the mobilisation of the government and the entire nation in this great cause,” he said on Twitter.

Some 35,000 people participated in the march in Paris, police said.

The #NousToutes association, which organised the protests, estimated the turnout much higher at 100,000 in Paris and 150,000 across France.

The demonstrations took place two days before the government is due to publish the results of an investigation into domestic violence.

Monday is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Protecting women

The French government is set to announce a series of new measures aimed at protecting women, the justice and interior ministers and the secretary of state for gender equality said in a joint opinion piece in Le Parisien daily on Saturday.

“We can and we should do better,” they wrote.

A Council of Europe expert group on domestic violence said this week that France needed to offer better protection for victims and their children and more effective anti-violence measures.

“We cannot continue to accept that women are being murdered today with total impunity. The state must do its job to guarantee the security of all women in this country,” #NousToutes activist Karine Plassard said in Paris.

Other marches took place in Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Lille.

“There is far too much violence against women everywhere in society, at work, in our intimate lives,” said Paris demonstrator Pauline (28). “The masculine part of the population must be aware of what they are doing to the other half.” – Reuters