Thousands of people took to the streets across the world in France on Monday to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, as the country has released the new measures to combat domestic violence.
Protesters gathered in countries as diverse as Guatemala, Russia, Sudan and Turkey, where riot police in Istanbul blocked the path of roughly 2,000 protesters before firing tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse them.
The French government announced it would make it easier for doctors to share information on vulnerable women and write into law the concept of psychological “entrapment”, following massive rallies in France over the weekend.
According to the UN, roughly, there were 87,000 women and girls murdered across the world in 2017.
Crowds marched through the streets of Moscow to highlight the government’s failure to pass laws protecting women, and hundreds of Sudanese women chanted “freedom, peace and justice” as they gathered in Khartoum in the first such protest in decades.
In Mexico City, masked demonstrators with sledgehammers smashed glass panes of bus stops, spray-painted monuments and clashed with riot police Monday to protest authorities’ failure to halt soaring rates of femicide and rape in the country.
South Africa has one of the worst records of any country on gender violence and the government has faced several rounds of mass protests on the issue.
President Cyril Ramaphosa used Monday’s events to launch a campaign to improve victims’ access to justice and urge men to drop their “sexist and patriarchal attitudes”.
The UN warned that more action was needed around the world, singling out Afghanistan as a country where too little is done to counter sexual violence and rape.
Earlier on Saturday, in Paris, the march brought together 49,000 people, according to independent study cabinet Occurrence, and 1,00,000 according to organizer Nous Toutes, which also gave the figure of 1,50,000 protesters throughout France.
President Emmanuel Macron had expressed his solidarity after the end of the protest.
Taking to Twitter, Macron said, “I give my support to every woman who has experienced gender-based or sexual violence. Count on me to continue the mobilization of the government and the entire nation in this great cause”.
The demonstrations took place two days before the government is due to publish the results of an investigation into domestic violence.
The march, which covered the main avenues in Paris, also had the support of most national unions and leftist parties, with famous faces, such as actresses Léa Drucker and Julie Gayet, and Vincent Trintignant the brother of actress Marie Trintignant who was beaten to death by her partner in 2003.