Day Against Violence Against Women: Clashes in Istanbul and Mexico

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Europe and Latin America on Thursday, November 26, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Gatherings which were sometimes repressed by the police.

“Do not be silent in the face of male violence”, said the banners displayed by hundreds of demonstrators in Istanbul. They also denounced Turkey’s withdrawal from an international treaty protecting women, the Istanbul Convention, accused by conservatives in power of encouraging homosexuality and threatening the traditional family structure.

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The demonstrators were greeted by tear gas as they tried to pass through the police barricades. In Turkey, 345 women have been killed since the start of 2021, according to the We Will Stop Feminicide platform, against 410 in 2020.

Turkish police used tear gas against protesters during a protest against violence against women in Istanbul on November 25, 2021.

In Mexico City, thousands of women demonstrated on Thursday. “They are not dead, they killed them”, said the signs brandished by the demonstrators of this country where, every day, 10 women are killed, according to the UN. Clashes pitted small groups of demonstrators, armed with hammers, against the police, who used irritating gases and fire extinguishers to repel them. Ten policewomen, three demonstrators and an official were slightly injured in the incidents, according to a report by the security services of the capital.

One in three women in the world are victims of violence

In Chile, the demonstration, which brought together thousands of women in Santiago, took on political accents, against the far-right candidate José Antonio Kast, nostalgic for the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, leading at the end of the first presidential tower.

In Guatemala, hundreds of women have also taken to the streets in this country hit by an increase in feminicides (by 30% compared to the same period of 2020 according to the authorities) and teenage pregnancies.

Demonstrations were also organized in Venezuela, Bolivia and Uruguay. In Latin America and the Caribbean, some 4,091 women were victims of femicide in 2020, according to the United Nations regional commission.

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Nearly one in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence, often from someone they know, according to the UN. “Violence against women is a global crisis. In all of our own neighborhoods, women and girls live in danger ”, alarmed Sima Bahous, executive director of UN Women, the United Nations organization defending women’s rights.

“We cannot look away,” says the Pope

Pope Francis also spoke on Twitter: “The different forms of abuse that many women suffer represent degradation for men and for all of humanity. We cannot look away. “

In Africa, several African heads of state gathered on Thursday in Kinshasa for a summit on “Positive masculinity” solemnly pledged to fight against discrimination and violence against women, from rape during conflicts to genital mutilation. We “Let’s launch the African Union campaign to end violence against women and girls and implement a zero tolerance policy in conflict and post-conflict situations”, said heads of state, including DRC President Félix Tshisekedi and Rwandan Paul Kagame, in a joint statement.

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The World with AFP

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Day Against Violence Against Women: Clashes in Istanbul and Mexico