Tuscany says NO to violence against women

Marking International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Rose Mackworth-Young
November 21, 2013

Following recent changes to Italian legislation, which introduced greater protective and preventive measures in the fight against domestic violence to women, Tuscany marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 with a series of public events, plays, meetings, films and thousands of red shoes.

 

A conference entitled ‘Tra i mille volti della violenza’ took place in Palazzo Vecchio’s Salone dei Cinquecento organised by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights Europe and Florence’s Department for Equal Opportunities among others. Issues addressed during the conference included the portrayal of women in advertising and the often inadequate responses to domestic and non-domestic violence against women. Red drapes hung over the palace’s balcony.

 

Later in the day, the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival was dedicated to women, including a screening of Lessons in Forgetting, a film on female suffering, prejudices and gender violence.

 

Cities and towns throughout Italy marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with red shoes. Members of the public placed pairs of shoes in piazzas, in front of churches, or in lines along the streets as striking symbols of the fight to stop violence against women. Shoes were placed in piazza Santa Croce in Florence, as well in the centres of Vinci, Prato, San Gimignano, Follonica, Pisa and other Tuscan towns.

 

Towns across Tuscany held events to highlight the ongoing problem of violence against women, with torchlit processions, film screenings, plays, public and council meetings. The events aimed to get all ages, sexes and backgrounds involved to highlight that violence against women is a problem for everyone, and one that needs the combined efforts of everyone to combat.

 

While the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women may be over, the problems and need for action remain: one in three women on the planet is beaten or raped in her lifetime.

 

You can help by contributing to Artemisia (www.artemisiacentroantiviolenza.it), the Florence-based crisis center for women and children which has helped approximately 1,000 women rebuild their lives, or by taking part in flash mobs in cities across the world, including Florence, next February 14 as part of the One Billion Rising campaign (www.onebillionrising.org).

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