Hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets in France on Saturday, November 23, against domestic violence and sexual harassment at the workplace perpetrated on women. The #NousToutes marches were organized on the occasion of the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, commemorated on November 25. Around 150,000 people participated in the demonstrations in cities across France, with 50,000 marching in Paris alone.
The participants raised concerns about the rise in femicides in the country and demanded that the French president, Emmanuel Macron, act on the issue. They also paid tributes to the victims of such violence against women.
Members of various trade unions like the CGT, youth movements including MJCF, student groups such as the UEC and political parties including the French Communist Party participated in Saturday’s march and expressed their support and solidarity. NousToutes.org greeted those present at the march, which is described as being feminist gathering in the history of France.
The French Communist Party expressed that the huge demonstration in Paris reflected public awareness and concern regarding the issue. However, there is a need to go beyond government statements on TV, and act to bring in and enforce suitable regulations to ensure an end to violence against women. The government must provide emergency accommodation places for the victims along with training for all professionals involved. In addition, a plan for equality education from primary school onward must be diligently implemented in order to bring long-term change.
Citing the activist group Femicides by Companions or Ex, lemouviemento.info reported that in France, at least 137 women have been killed by their partner or ex-partner so far this year, up from 121 in all of 2018. According to the figures published by the State Secretariat for Equality between Women and Men, approximately 219,000 women annually become victims of physical and/or sexual violence by their former or current partners in the country, however, only 19% of them come forward to register their complaints with the authorities.