Tens of thousands march to protest gender violence

March against gender violence in Madrid, 25th November 2019. Photo: Andrea Comas/El País
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Tens of thousands marched across Spain on Monday to protest violence against women in Spanish society and take special aim at those who would deny that gender violence exists or who promote the myth that an equal number of men are victimized by their women partners in domestic abuse situations.

The marches in Spain were held as millions turned out to march and rally in countries worldwide to condemn gender violence as part of the UN-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which has taken place every 25th of November since the 1981 in countries around the world.

In Madrid, all major political parties except the ultra-right VOX party participated in the march, with the capital’s police estimating a turnout of 8,000 people. In Spain’s second-largest city, Barcelona, police estimated 10,000 marchers participated, while municipal authorities in Valencia said that as many as 20,000 people turned out to protest against gender violence in a march through the city’s downtown area.

► News Sources: El País, La Vanguardia and 20minutos …

Much of the ire of women and their supporters in marches across Spain was aimed at the anti-feminist rhetoric and gender-violence denial of Spain’s new rightwing VOX party. In the march in the Spanish capital, anti-VOX placards abounded as marchers wound their way through the streets of the capital to chants of “Vox, fascista, Madrid es feminista” and “Escucha Vox, las víctimas tienen voz” (Listen up, VOX – victims have a voice).

Several cabinet-level ministers of the Socialist party government of acting President Pedro Sánchez participated in the Madrid march, with Spain’s acting Vice-President Carmen Calvo telling reporters that Spaniards need to show “unanimity and firmness against this terror so that no one can dispute, weaken or break” the resolve to rid Spanish society of gender violence.

According to the United Nations, one of every three women in the world experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently at the hands of an intimate partner. In 2017, according to UN figures, half of all women killed worldwide were murdered by their domestic partner or family, while only one out of every 20 men were killed under similar circumstances.

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