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Protests and pledges: 'No' to violence against women

Demonstrations were held in countries around the world to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

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Protests and pledges: 'No' to violence against women

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Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Geneva...

These were just some of the cities where the "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women" was marked on Saturday.

A rally in the Italian capital came as it was revealed that the murder rate against women in the country is not falling in line with a general decline in homicides over recent years.

For the first time in national history, the lower house of parliament was opened only to women, with victims of violence, mothers of murdered women and campaigners making themselves heard.

The chamber's speaker, Laura Boldrini, told those gathered that:

"It is fundamental to tackle violence at its roots, through education and from a young age, teaching children about gender equality, about respect for women and respect for women's freedom. Women must be able to say 'no' and they must be respected for this."

The day was described as a 'turning point' by the government of France where demonstrators included topless activists from the feminist group FEMEN.

President Emmanuel Macron has declared gender equality a key priority of his five year term and unveiled measures aimed at educating the public and schoolchildren about sexism and violence against women.

A banned march finally went ahead in Istanbul.

Protests have been curbed in Turkey since last year's failed coup.

Demonstrators denounced the government's gender policies.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been criticised by women's groups for failing to speak out more against domestic violence.