Turkish women hold rallies against male violence on Women’s Day
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, observed to honor the social, political and cultural achievements and primarily rights of women worldwide, women in Turkey are holding rallies to mark the day and protest the rampant problem of male violence and sexism.
Hundreds of women gathered in major cities, speaking against patriarchy, sexism and gender-based discrimination.
A crowd with banners, posters and purple flags protested femicides and suspicious deaths of women in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district, one of the busiest hubs of the Turkish metropolis.
“We don’t shut up, we don’t fear, we don’t obey,” “Together we will win,” and “Down with the male-dominated capitalist system,” read the banners held by participants.
Demonstrations began with the speeches made by representatives of women’s organizations and continued with a torch-liting ceremony and traditional halay dances with music.
“Femicide can be prevented. We can fight inequality. We will do this with our organized struggle,” said a speaker, referring to the increase in the number of victims across the country.
Some 72 women were killed in 2022 alone in Turkey, according to a recent report released by the Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will Stop Femicides Platform), an organization that monitors violence against women.
However, according to experts and activists, the number of unrecorded cases in the country could be far higher as femicides are often filed under “suicides” or “accidents.”
“Women in this country are constantly falling from heights. And there is always a man with them. And that man always has some strengths. There are men who think they can escape punishment,” the speaker added.
Meanwhile, some small-scale events were also held in the capital Ankara, the Aegean province of İzmir and the southern province of Adana on March 6.
‘Feminist night walk’
The largest of the traditional events to be held in line with the International Women’s Day celebrations will take place tonight with the participation of tens of thousands of women in major cities, including Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir.
Like every year, women will hold a “feminist night walk” on İstiklal Avenue in Istanbul and Sakarya Street in Ankara this year, marking the continuation of the world-renowned “Reclaim the Night” movement.
On March 8, public transport in some cities will be free for women all day long.