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10,000 join march against violence towards women

19:53 24/11/2019

More than 10,000 people joined a demonstration against violence towards women in central Brussels on Sunday afternoon - double last year's turnout.

The march was organised for a third consecutive year by Mirabal, a platform bringing together about 100 women's rights organisations, and came a day after large protests in Paris and Rome.

It set off from Central Station, where pairs of red shoes were placed on the ground, each representing one of the 99 women who have been the victims of feminicide in Belgium since 2017.

One of the organisers, Céline Caudron, said: "This year's march has a particular resonance, because we see that public opinion is changing. The justice system as it exists now, is not at all adapted to the fight against violence against women. We are asking for a thorough reform."

According to the Stop Feminicide blog, 21 women have been killed in Belgium so far this year "because they are women". Their names were read out at the beginning of the march, followed by a moment of silence and then a "cry of anger".

Mirabal said in a statement: "It is essential to invest some substantial public money, to focus on prevention and repression, to guarantee the right to security for all women."

On Saturday, Flemish justice minister Zuhal Demir announced the region's government would release an additional budget of €6 million per year to support victims of sexual violence.

The budget aims to improve the legal accompaniment of victims, as well as provide better follow-up treatment for offenders.

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga

Written by The Bulletin