Thousands of Mexican women protest against ‘femicide’ and gender-based violence

MEXICO CITY — On Sunday March 8th, women poured into the streets to start a two-day protest and national strike against gender-based violence, in what organizers hope will be a turning point for women’s rights in a country disfigured by violence and machismo.

Tens of thousands of women streamed through the capital to the national palace. Many wore purple, the color symbolizing International Women’s Day, celebrated throughout the world on Sunday, and waved signs reading “Fight today so we don’t die tomorrow” and “We are the voice of those who are no longer with us.”

“This is a cry of conscience for our society,” said Itzel Zurita, 32, who sells homemade food in Mexico state. She and a friend, Reyna Ayala, 34, a Walmart worker, said they joined the protest because they were horrified by all the women they knew — including in their own families — who had suffered abuse.

“If we don’t raise our voices, when will they hear us?” Zurita asked.

Protests marking International Women’s Day took place around the world, despite fears of the fast-moving coronavirus outbreak, and a few turned violent. Security forces fired tear gas at women’s marches in Turkey and Chile. Islamist hard-liners threw rocks and shoes at a women’s rally in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Women march Sunday in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl. (Raquel Cunha/Reuters)
Women march Sunday in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl. (Raquel Cunha/Reuters)

In Mexico City, several canisters of tear gas exploded near the national palace, according to reporters, who said they apparently were detonated by several men in civilian clothes.

The annual demonstration for women’s rights here has turned into something of a social uprising after a string of gruesome killings. Women took to the streets around the country — from U.S. border cities such as Ciudad Juárez to communities in southern Guerrero state, where indigenous women and peasants joined marches.

Source: The Washington Post

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