Hundreds of people gathered at the Place de la Republique square in central Paris on Saturday July 6 protesting and demanding tougher action on femicides in France, Reuters reported.
The protesters were shouting “Enough” and carrying signs reading “Stop femicides” or “The planet needs women alive.”
The demonstration was reportedly organized by various women’s rights NGOs to raise awareness and protest the increasing rate of femicides, the killing of a woman by a man because of her gender.
Many feminist campaigners published an op-ed piece in French newspaper Le Monde on Friday asking French government to take active measures such as suspending child custody from men suspected of killing their wife or partner during investigations as well as open more shelter spaces and other benefits for victims of domestic violence.
Various women of all ages and a few men took part Saturday to observe 74 seconds of silence in tribute to the 74 women allegedly killed in France so far this year, according to data collected by Facebook group “Femicides par compagnons ou ex” (Femicides by partners or exes). Four women were killed this week, the data shows.
French Interior Ministry figures show that 130 women were allegedly killed in 2017 by their husband or partner up from 123 in 2016.
“It’s a massacre,” Julie Gayet, a French actress and partner of former French President Francois Hollande, said at the protest. “We need to raise awareness on what’s happening today, which means that despite society’s evolution, there’s a step backward, and even more women are dying today.”
“I share the anger of victims and their relatives and reiterate my support to this struggle and the government’s determination,” French Gender Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said in a twitter post.
Various women advocacy groups in France have recently become more vocal demanding the government stick to its gender equality promise and act decisively against domestic violence.