Thousands of people demonstrated against violence against women and discrimination in Paris on Saturday. According to the organizers, around 50,000 demonstrators took part in a protest march through the city center, and the police reported 18,000 participants. They called on the government to take further measures against domestic violence and the high number of so-called femicides – killing women because of their gender.
Further rallies are also planned in other cities in France over the next few days. The feminist collective #NousToutes (we all) and around 60 associations, unions and political parties called for the protests in the run-up to the International Day against Violence against Women on November 25th. According to #NousToutes, around 220,000 women are victims of violence every year, including 94,000 rape victims. Since January 1st alone, 101 women have been killed by their partners.
According to the organizers, 100,000 people took to the streets in similar protests two years ago in the French capital; the police said at the time of 35,000 demonstrators.
“It is no longer possible to tolerate this violence against half of humanity,” said the green presidential candidate Yannick Jadot at the rally. He asked for more funds for training and emergency shelter.
On the other hand, the Minister for Equality, Elisabeth Moreno, defended the measures already taken by the government to protect women, such as the creation of more emergency shelters, training for police officers and emergency telephones for women who have been victims of violence. “Every femicide is one femicide too many, but you can see that these measures are beginning to bear fruit,” she told radio station Europe 1.
In the opinion of the rally participants, this is not enough. They called for more housing options for women fleeing their violent partners. According to a report published on Thursday by the Women’s Foundation, around 40 percent of the refugee women cannot find shelter, and only twelve percent are given a place that also includes psychological and legal assistance.