"We don't want to count the dead anymore": thousands of people, many of them wearing a touch of purple, the colour of feminism, demonstrated on Saturday 25 November in Paris and other major cities against violence against women, demanding additional resources from the government.

For this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, feminist associations and trade unions have called for demonstrations throughout France for better protection of women victims of violence.

The "persistence of violence against women is not inevitable", "we must put an end to it and we will do it", said the President of the Republic in a video posted on social networks on Saturday morning.

He listed the actions already put in place (extension of the hours of the 3919 number, implementation of a digital support platform, facilitation of the filing of complaints, increase in the number of dedicated investigators, deployment of "grave danger telephones" and "immediate danger bracelets", creation of emergency accommodation places) and welcomed efforts "which have borne fruit".

But for feminist associations, trade unions and left-wing personalities, this is far from being the case.

"Marginal reforms are not enough," Maëlle Lenoir, of the national coordination of the Nous toutes collective, said at a press briefing on Saturday. The collective estimates that "more than 2 billion euros" will be needed to effectively combat violence against women.


"Educate Your Boys"

Sophie Binet, head of the CGT, spoke on behalf of the inter-union union alongside Marylise Léon, head of the CFDT, before the start of the demonstration: "We are asking for financial resources, 2 billion euros, to have a global policy against sexual and gender-based violence, at work and in everyday life."

The Feminist Strike movement had also called for people to join the rallies in the territory.

On TF1, LFI MP Clémentine Autain estimated that it would take "between two and three billion" euros, "the equivalent of the wealth tax that Emmanuel Macron has abolished".

"We don't want to count our dead anymore," said Maëlle Lenoir. "We don't want to have to protest anymore."

In 2022, 118 femicides were recorded, a figure almost stable compared to 2021, according to official figures. In the first 11 months of 2023, feminist associations recorded 121 femicides.

Marches took place in several cities in France: several hundred people in Lyon and Strasbourg, about 200 in Lille etc. Lots of women but also men. And everywhere, the color purple dominated the marches -- the color of feminism in several countries.

On the placards: "Protect your daughters, educate your sons" (Lyon), "Giving in is not consenting" and "In France, a rape every 6 minutes" (Lille), "We are not born a woman but we die of it", "Dancing without being drugged", "When I go out, I want to be free, not courageous" (Strasbourg).

In the procession in Strasbourg, Léonore Maunoury, 22, would like "something to happen when we denounce the facts". "Sexual violence is difficult to prove, there are a lot of dismissals. The justice system is not adequate," the young woman said.

In Nantes, women gathered around a red-painted (fake) coffin with a slit, into which they slipped posters printed with the word "Femicide", listing the names of women killed by a man.

Demonstration on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in Nantes on November 25, 2023. © Loïc Venance, AFP

The Israel-Hamas war was part of the Paris demonstration, with a few Palestinian flags on display. And a little further on, placards proclaiming "Hamas rapes."



With AFP

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