Derry protest today as part of global action over violence against women

The protest in Derry will take place at the Peace Garden on Friday, November 25  at 1pm.
The protest in Derry will take place at the Peace Garden on Friday, November 25 at 1pm.

Local grass roots activists will today stage a protest as part of an international movement warning governments to take action over violence and abuse against women.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women protest will be staged at the Peace Garden on Foyle Street at 1pm.

The event in Derry is being organised by community activists from across the region.

Speakers will include Mirenda Rosenberg, Hilary McCollum and Kathryn Daly.

Local activist Mel Bradley said people across the world were making demands in a co-ordinated day of action across almost 20 countries right around the world, with a petition being submitted to the United Nations.

The international movement is calling on governments to take real measures to addressed physical, economic, verbal and moral abuse directed at women; establish severe legal penalties in cases of rape, domestic violence and all gender-based crimes, as well as free access to medical care, including abortion.

Mel Bradley said that if governments do nothing to address these issues, there will be an international strike by women from countries across the worlds on March 8.

Other countries were action is taking place this weekend include Argentina, Brazil, Poland, Iceland, Sweden and Israel.

“We are working together on a global scale to try and put this message out there within our own countries and try to raise as much awareness as possible,” she said.

Ms Bradley pointed to PSNI statistics which showed that for 2014/15 there were more domestic abuse crimes than burglaries reported to police, and more than double the number of drug related crimes.

A joint statement issued by the global movement states:

“We, the women of the world, are fed up with violence addressed at us, physical, economic, verbal or moral. We will no longer tolerate it passively.

“We demand that our governments stop using misogynic insults and start taking real measures to solve numerous problems related to our safety, free access to medical care including abortion, the establishment of severe legal penalties to be applied to our oppressors in cases of rape, domestic violence and every gender-based crimes we are experiencing increasingly, and enforce effective secularization.

The statement adds: “Before our biological conditions, we are first of all human beings and what’s more it’s 2016.”