Marchers demand end to violence against women

Domestic violence was the focus of  marches across the country (Bigstock)

Thousands of women and men marched through Australia's capital cities yesterday calling for an end to violence against women. Source: ABC

In Sydney, about 3,000 people gathered at Hyde Park where Indigenous leaders, survivors of domestic violence and women's rights activists addressed the crowd before marching to Belmore Park.

Organisers said domestic violence was a key focus of this year's women's march, but many in the crowd carried signs referencing the alleged murder of Palestinian citizen of Israel Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne's north earlier this week.

Representatives from domestic violence groups and women's organisations across the state addressed the crowd at Hyde Park.

Host Yumi Stynes said there was a crisis of violence against women in Australia.

"We have the right to be safe, to claim our space, to be respected and have our voices heard — so I want to hear your voice right now!" she said, prompting cheers from the crowd.

In Canberra, several hundred protesters chanted "women power" and held placards revealing why they chose to march.

Samantha Nolan-Smith became emotional when revealing her reasons for attending.

"I'm marching for the women who can't," she said.

"I'm thinking particularly of the death that happened this week and so many other women who have suffered from violence and who are dead.

"I don't want my daughter to grow up in a world where she's unsafe or she can't pursue the opportunities she wants and I march for my son because I don't want him to grow up in a world where toxic masculinity is acceptable."

Megan Daley, a youth and family worker, said she wanted to see a brighter future for Indigenous women and children.

"I'm marching because I'm a young Aboriginal woman," she said.

"I know how poor our outcomes are, how unequal we are treated in Australia."

In Adelaide, about 150 people attended an event outside Parliament House to remember the 69 women murdered across Australia last year.

Sixty-nine women stood on the building's steps holding placards representing the lives lost as each victim's name was read out.


Women's marches across Australia focus on Aiia Maasarwe's alleged rape and murder (ABC)

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