In Spain, thousands of women marched to demand an end to violence against women
On Friday evening in Madrid’s city center, protesters carried banners and marched down the Gran Via while chanting “no means no, anything else is rape” and “we women are not things.” Many of them were dressed in purple. People burned flares and beat drums in Barcelona.
According to the ministry of equality, 1,171 women have died as a result of gender-based violence in Spain since 2003.
Susana Rita, a 42-year-old teacher from Madrid, stated, “I’ve come here because of the problem of gender violence, because of all the deaths that are occurring, because of the mistreatment of women…”
Pedro Sanchez, the prime minister of Spain, urged men to speak up on Friday to put an end to machismo.
He said at a Socialist Party event that “male violence is a horrible reality that shames us every day.”
The demonstrations follow the admission that some men’s prison terms were lowered due to a flaw in a new law limiting the consequences for sexual abuse, which sparked outrage and acrimonious debate among legislators.
Any non-consensual intercourse is considered rape under the “only yes means yes” statute, which also establishes lighter minimum punishments for some sexual offences.
According to the news agency Europa Press, five men have been released from prison and at least 11 convicted sexual offenders have had their prison terms shortened.
On Friday night, the cries of “only yes means yes” resounded across the crowds.