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Protests dominate this year’s campaigns Activism campaign

LOUISE DONOVANBy LOUISE DONOVAN
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Women around the world are calling for an end to violence and commemorating those who have lost their lives.

According to the United Nations, one in three women globally will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime, mostly by an intimate partner. Demonstrators have been gathering since the weekend.

In dozens of cities across France, women took to the streets to protest and the hashtag #NousToutes (which translates to ‘All of Us’) has been gathering momentum.

GLOBAL PROTESTS

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe then revealed a series of measures to tackle domestic abuse against women. The government pledged to create 1,000 extra emergency shelters, seize firearms from abusive spouses and improve police training to reduce the number of women killed by their partners.

In Rome, more than 10,000 people marched on Saturday to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

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‘Reclaim the Night’ marches were held around the UK, while women walked barefoot in Mexico on Saturday in commemoration of Briseida Carreno, a young woman killed a year ago in Ecatepec, a suburb of Mexico City, which has seen high numbers of femicides.

GREAT SHAME

In South Africa, more than 2,700 women were murdered last year, and more than 100 cases of rape are reported every day. In a speech to launch the 16 Days of Activism campaign, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the targeting of women had become a great shame on the country.

In September, the government pledged 1.1 billion rand (Sh7.5 billion) towards tackling gender-based violence.

Monday marked the beginning of 16 Days of Activism campaigns with events pushing to end gender-based violence.

Hundreds of events are planned across the world to support the campaign, “Generation Equality Stands Against Rape!”

UN Women executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said rape “can have life-changing, unchosen effects — a pregnancy or a sexually-transmitted disease, immense trauma and an unwarranted sense of shame.”

“If I could have one wish granted, it might well be a total end to rape.”