“Against sexist violence, here we are feminists!” Feminism has taken to the streets again this Thursday, November 25, on the occasion of 25-N, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Voices of protest resound after such calls were thwarted last year due to restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. Under slogans such as “we want each other alive”, “they are not dead, they are murdered” and “not one less”, the protesters have marched in different cities in Spain, including Madrid, to demand a life free of sexist violence. In Barcelona, the mobilization has run through the center of the city, where the participants have walked cutting traffic and at the rhythm of batucadas, with banners with slogans such as “stop Sexist Violence” and “not one less.”
The motto chosen by the Ministry of Equality for this year’s 25-N campaign is “together”, with which it intends to call for feminist unity in the fight against gender violence. In the capital, however, feminist organizations and collectives have been divided, as happened on March 8, when International Women’s Day was celebrated.
The demonstration in the capital has been called by the Feminist Movement of Madrid. From the Plaza de Cibeles to the Puerta del Sol, 1,200 people – according to estimates by the Government Delegation – march to the rhythm of drums and waving purple flags. The protest in Barcelona has brought together more than a thousand people, according to the Europa Press estimate. Massive rallies have also been held in Valencia (5,000 participants) and in Seville (450), among other cities.
Elena de León Criado, president of the Federation of Women’s Associations of the Community of Madrid, leads the demonstration in the capital and holds a banner that reads: “Tired of sexist violence against women. Solutions now! ”, The motto of the call. From the federation they demand that other forms of sexist violence that take place in contexts other than the couple be included in the law against gender violence, “such as sexual, vicarious and reproductive violence, and also prostitution”. in order to align with the Istanbul Convention, as contemplated by the ratification of the State Pact against Gender Violence that all political groups except Vox have signed in Congress this Thursday. The protesters have chanted slogans such as “without a whore, there is no trafficking” or “my belly, my vagina, they are neither bought nor rented”. Both refer to the future law of sexual freedom, popularly known as the law of only yes is yes, which will punish the exploitation of the prostitution of others and will categorize surrogacy as sexist violence.
Henar Sastre, spokesperson for the 7N Platform against gender violence, which is part of the federation, explains that this Thursday’s march has been called to “re-politicize the issue of violence.” “We have become accustomed to having more than 30 women murdered a year, as has happened in the last 11 months,” laments Sastre. “We are here to say that violence is a matter of the State and the responsibility lies with the whole of society.”
On the other hand, the 8M Assemblies of the Community of Madrid have chosen to convene around thirty smaller concentrations in different parts of the region. Among them, dozens of people have gathered in the Plaza de Lavapiés, in a closer, neighborhood environment. Attendees have sung the feminist anthem The rapist is you, created in Chile by the group Las Tesis, around a banner that reads: Against sexist violence, transfeminist responses. Arantxa López, spokeswoman for the Lavapiés 8M Commission, explains that the idea behind these minor calls is that they be “complementary” to the main march in the afternoon. “We wanted to decentralize the feminist struggle and end up dyeing all the streets and neighborhoods purple.”
On Seville, behind a banner that reads “No to violence against women. The Feminist Movement of Seville ”has started after 7:30 p.m. the march called by 35 feminist associations. Some 450 people, including many young people, have started the march towards the Alameda de Hércules after having endured a good downpour in the Plaza Nueva that has tarnished the actions that feminist associations had prepared on the visibility of 25 types of violence against the woman. Lilac umbrellas with letters forming the words Feminism and Abolition, referring to prostitution, many raincoats and purple ties in a march that unions and some political parties have joined, reports Margot Molina. The Minister of Equality of the Junta de Andalucía, Rocío Ruiz, who also participated in the event, affirmed that sexist violence is a problem of the whole society not only of women because it is about “the violation of human rights, a problem in which there is no division or confrontation between political parties ”.
“Fartes [Hartas]”Has been the motto of the march called in Valencia, seconded by thousands of people (5,000, according to the estimates of this newspaper). It was headed by women victims of sexist violence, women with disabilities and three columns of protesters with a symbolic poster each: “We are fed up with sexist violence, patriarchal justice, the continued increase in sexual assaults, the younger and younger girls, fed up with mistreatment and gender violence ”, Xelo Álvarez, from the Feminist Coordinator of Valencia, one of the convening organizations, has listed. Cristina Vazquez. The March [ni policía ni organizadores han facilitado cifras de asistentes] It has had the presence of politicians from the main Valencian government institutions, from the vice presidents of the Generalitat to the government delegate.
Several thousand people have defied the rain in the demonstration against sexist violence in Bilbao, the largest of those that have been held in the Basque Country, where five women have been murdered so far this year. The attendees, mostly women, have demanded the defense of public spaces without violence against them, reports Mikel Ormazabal. Under the slogan “Let’s organize feminist self-defense!”, They have vindicated their right to “take to the streets” and “reappropriate” those “unsafe” places with the aim of “changing fear for collective power.” The feminist movement of Bilbao has managed to mobilize several columns from different parts of the city to make visible that they are going to be very combative after the increase in night, transphobic and domestic aggressions in the last year. On Saint Sebastian, half a thousand people have participated in a march that also took place under a downpour. Ane García demanded from the rulers “feminist policies, because this model of society is unbearable for women.” “Living without violence is our right,” they chanted at the demonstration.
On Valladolid, hundreds of women of various generations have gathered to protest against sexist violence, reports Juan Navarro. Sara Rico, 22, comments with Maribel Farral, 60, the changes and sad similarities between times. “It’s okay that I have to come to this yet.” Raquel Rodríguez and Virginia Gonzalo, aged 24 and 26, feel sexism in labor relations “with the bosses” or even in comments from university professors. Cristina Revuelta, 19, is outraged by the nocturnal machismo in discos with offensive proposals such as “if you’re alone, come with me.” The young woman sighs: “They don’t even have imagination.”
In 2021, 37 women have been murdered by their partners or ex-partners, 1,118 since the count began in 2003, according to Equality statistics. Of the total, 45 were minors, according to a recent report by the General Council of the Judiciary. The fatal victims of gender violence have left 24 orphans this year, 330 since 2013. Among them is Joshua Alonso Mateo, to whom Equality awarded last Wednesday the Resilience award at the XVIII Delivery of awards on the occasion of the 25-N. And 44 minors have been killed by their fathers or their mothers’ partners since 2013.
The count of fatalities due to sexist violence will be expanded from next January 1, and will include murders that occur outside the bosom of the couple or ex-partner, as announced last Friday by Victoria Rosell, delegate of the Government against Gender Violence . The count, which will be parallel to the official one, will count women killed by sexual or vicarious violence, that is, when sons and daughters are attacked to harm the mother. In addition, those who are attacked to death within the family will be added.
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