Women around the world protest for their rights
From Kabul to Paris via Barcelona, women around the world are demonstrating on Wednesday to defend their rights, which are being flouted in various parts of the planet.
Taliban in power in Afghanistan, repression of protest provoked in Iran by the death of Mahsa Amini, questioning of the right to abortion or feminicides: the reasons for mobilization are numerous on this International Women's Rights Day.
In Pakistan, a very conservative and patriarchal country, they have taken to the streets by the thousands despite attempts by the authorities to prevent marches, where often taboo subjects such as divorce, sexual harassment or menstruation are discussed.
“We are not going to sit in silence anymore. It's our day, it's our time,” said Rabail Akhtar, a teacher in Lahore. “Why are they so afraid of women standing up for their rights?” added Soheila Afzal, a graphic designer.
In Afghanistan, “the most repressive country in the world with regard to women's rights”, according to Rosa Otunbaïeva, head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Manua), there were about twenty of them demonstrating in Kabul, a noted AFP.
Since the return to power of the Taliban in August 2021, “women and girls have been erased from public life” in this country, lamented Monday the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres who, more generally, has expressed concern that “gender equality is getting further and further away” in the world.
“At the current rate, (the organization) UN Women sets it at 300 years from now,” he said.
At a Forbes summit in Abu Dhabi, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that “women and children are the main victims of conflict and climate change” and “that no place (…) shows us this in a more dramatic way today than Ukraine”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also paid tribute on Wednesday to women “who have sacrificed their lives” since the start of the Russian invasion a year ago. His Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin celebrated women who “fulfill their duty”, especially in the military.
Symbolic and unprecedented approach on the eve of March 8, the European Union adopted sanctions on Tuesday against individuals responsible for violations of women's rights in six countries, including Taliban Minister of Higher Education Neda Mohammad Nadeem, while Afghan women are no longer allowed to go to university or in secondary education.
The UK followed the EU on Wednesday by freezing the assets and banning several individuals and entities responsible for violence against women in Iran, Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
In neighboring Ireland, the government has announced that the population will vote by referendum in November on the withdrawal from the Constitution of articles considered “outdated” on the place of women, supposed to be “at home”.
Elsewhere in Europe, rallies took place in particular in Spain, where a purple tide is expected in Madrid from 6 p.m. GMT, or in France, a country in which the protest was placed under the sign of the fight against pension reform. , accused of being unfair to women.
“My skirt is not short, your education is”: in Barcelona, several thousand women pounded the pavement while in France, the women at the head of the Parisian procession chanted “pensions, wages, women are angry”.
In Turkey, which holds an average of one femicide a day and where three women were killed on Wednesday according to local media, a protest is planned around Istanbul's Taksim Square, despite it being banned by authorities.< /p>
A Hong Kong protest had to be called off after its members were summoned by the police.
In Cuba, for lack of being able to demonstrate freely, independent feminist organizations will for their part bypass the official celebrations by mobilizing via a “virtual demonstration” on social networks where they will raise awareness in particular on feminicides.
In Mexico , it is in particular with the slogan “Not a single woman murdered” that the demonstrators will march through the main cities of the country.
The same slogan is in Colombia where rallies are planned to demand measures against the increase in the number of feminicides, from 182 in 2020 to 614 last year, according to the public ministry.
Feminists are also particularly mobilizing around the world to defend the right to abortion, called into question in particular in the United States by the decision of the Supreme Court in June to revoke the judgment “Roe v. Wade” of 1973 guaranteeing this right.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron announced the presentation of a bill “in the coming months” to include voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG) in the Constitution.