EntertainmentProtesters cover Spanish Steps in red paint over femicide crisis

Protesters cover Spanish Steps in red paint over femicide crisis

Protest against the plague of femicides in Italy
Protest against the plague of femicides in Italy
Images source: © Canva

8:27 AM EDT, June 27, 2024

An unusual protest took place on Wednesday, June 26, in Rome. Activists gathered in the Italian capital and smeared red paint on one of the monuments. They chose the famous Spanish Steps. This act was meant to express opposition to the epidemic of women being murdered and to show dissatisfaction with the government's inability to address it.

Violence against women remains a huge problem in many countries, both in Europe and around the world. We regularly receive information about rapes, beatings, and abuse of girls. Often, women become victims because they leave their partners or refuse to tolerate disrespect. Simply put, the reasons women lose their lives are usually trivial.

There is a plague of murders of women ongoing in Italy. Since December 2023, over 40 women in the country have lost their lives. That is why activists gathered and poured red paint over the famous steps on Wednesday, June 26, at the Spanish Steps in Rome. They did this to draw attention to a problem the Italian authorities struggled to manage. "Paint can be washed off, but lives cannot be restored," said the women's rights activists in Rome, holding such banners.

Protests against violence against women in Italy

In November 2023, one of the largest demonstrations against violence toward women occurred in Rome. The protest was in response to the brutal death of Giulia Cecchettin, who her boyfriend murdered because he could not bear that she did not want to be with him. She was only 22 years old. Since then, over 40 women have lost their lives in Italy. Hence, activists decided to gather again in Rome.

"This painting symbolizes the blood of the 40 women who have been killed since Giulia Cecchettin's murder, but there are many more people who suffer daily due to violence and are exploited because of their gender. This is their blood. The slaughter that society does not want to see remains consistently hidden and accepted as if being killed by a husband, partner, or child were something normal," one of the protest participants said in an interview with "Corriere."

Another protest participant recalled the words of Giulia's sister, who was murdered in November. In November 2023, she appealed for a change in the law and for more care toward women instead of just observing a minute of silence to commemorate the victim's name. She urged people to believe women when they fear their partners and worry something might happen to them. She, along with other activists, placed photos of the 40 murdered women on the painted steps.

"We are here for this reason. [...] We are here to scream our pain and make the problem visible. Our government does not respond to these tragedies. This paint will be washed off, but lives cannot be restored," said another protest participant in an interview with the media.

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