Women march against violence in Paris

28th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 27 (AFP) - Thousands of people demonstrated in central Paris on Saturday to demand legislation to protect women from violence, a month after a young Tunisian woman was stoned to death in southern France.

PARIS, Nov 27 (AFP) - Thousands of people demonstrated in central Paris on Saturday to demand legislation to protect women from violence, a month after a young Tunisian woman was stoned to death in southern France.

Numbered by police at 2,800 and organisers at 8,000, demonstrators walked peacefully from Paris' Bastille square to the rallying cry: "Humiliated, raped, beaten. Enough!"

"When you see that one woman out of ten is a victim of violence, you want to rise up. It is time to go into the streets, men and women, and for a law to bring an end to this," Communist lawmaker Marie-George Buffet said.

"Women's bodies are not for sale," cried demonstrators in the crowd. "When a woman says no, she means no! Enough of rape!"

Other groups marched to call attention to the violence inflicted upon women around the world in times of war, to the problem of forced marriages or to that of sexist discrimination in the workplace.

Demonstrators, including left-wing political parties, women's organisations and unions, said they were unhappy with a 10-point plan proposed on Thursday by Equality Minister Nicole Ameline, in a bid to stem the problem of violence.

Suzy Rojtman, of the National Committee for Women's Rights (CNDF), called for a law on violence against women modelled on the one recently adopted by the Socialist government in neighbouring Spain.

In October, the Spanish parliament unanimously passed a bill promoting equal access to jobs for women and favouring heavy prison sentences for violent male offenders.

"That law has the advantage of taking into account both the consequences of violence (such as homelessness) and the question of preventive action" such as awareness-raising campaigns, she said.

Some 2,000 people also marched silently through the streets of the southern port city of Marseille, to remember the 23-year-old Tunisian woman who was stoned to death in the city a month ago, in as yet unexplained circumstances.

Small demonstrations were also held in Toulouse in the south and Rennes in the west, while two debates were organised in the southwestern city of Bordeaux.

The problem of violence against women hit the headlines last year, when the beating to death of popular actress Marie Trintignant by her rock star boyfriend Bertrand Cantat shocked the country.

Although reliable statistics are not available, six women are believed to die from domestic violence in France every month.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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