Hundreds of activists gathered today in front of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, marking the beginning of the fifth March for Women’s Rights, organized by the Platform for Gender Equality and women’s rights activists.
Chanting “A state that does not act is a state that rapes”, the activists expressed support for all victims of gender-based violence and reminded that they will not stop until the institutions are actively involved in resolving cases and sanctioning perpetrators of gender-based violence.
“They are guilty of complicity in a crime, all those who have the power, responsibility and resources to ensure the dignity, justice, security and protection of the personal security and lives of women and girls, and do not do so; All who are authorized to detect, prevent, prosecute and imprison the perpetrators, but do not do so; All who are obliged and paid to provide services and support to victims to take control of their own lives, but do not до со; All who have helped the crime persist and caused damage, knowingly or unknowingly, with their action or lack thereof, while they mustn’t have,” said Marija Savovska of Akcija Zdruzenska and the Platform for Gender Equality, in the speech marking the start of the march.
She stressed the need to provide connected institutions, clear rules, and professionals we can trust to put an end to violence against women and gender-based violence, as well as timely, quality services and support for women and girls-victims of violence. The Platform for Gender Equality demanded immediate action from the Ministry of Interior and the Public Prosecutor’s Office on all specific requests that they repeated on this occasion as well:
The Public Prosecutor’s Office should immediately and thoroughly clear the case “Public Room”, which is a crime in which a huge number of women are victims of gender-based violence.
Criminal prosecution of the group administrators, as well as all members who have posted and continue to post photos and personal information of girls and women.
Sexual harassment via the Internet should be specifically regulated in the Criminal Code.
Professional treatment, assistance, and support to victims of gender-based violence by all relevant institutions.
“We are here, we are monitoring you, and we will not leave you alone!” – Savovska concluded.
After the address of the activists, the attendees continued on the route to Zena Borec Park, where this year’s march for women’s rights ended with closing speeches were given and a short performance to raise awareness about gender-based violence.
The march is culmination of several weeks of reactions by the Platform for Gender Equality because of the institutions’ slow response to cases of gender-based violence, for which they gave the institutions the deadline until 8 March to respond.