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Women in Rome & Paris march against male violence

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By Robert Hackwill
Women in Rome & Paris march against male violence

Two European womens' marches captured the mood on the eve of the International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women; in Rome Italian women expressed their disgust at the high levels of domestic violence in the country, and the atmosphere created by the hard-right elements in Italy's coalition government.

"Only by changing this culture will we be able to prevent gender-based violence. It’s a cultural problem. As long as we see women as different subjects, who have less rights than men, we will not be able to stop femicides and violence," said one woman.

There was a similar march in Paris. In France a woman is killed by a partner or ex-partner every three days, and government spending cuts are seen to impact women more, particularly those on pensions. But the women here were not marching alone.

"It is important that men mobilize to show women that they have had enough of hurting them. We understand them, we support them. Men are with you, we will make it, we will be equal and we will join hands, men and women, to fight together," said one young male marcher.

Levels of violence against women remain shockingly high in Europe, and depending on the country women are more or less protected by the justice systems, which still struggle to remain impartial in rape cases, for example, even those involving violence. But the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns have dynamised women everywhere into taking direct action.