Thousands of women in Switzerland have taken part in a mass scream at a protest to demand equal treatment and an end to domestic violence.
During the Women’s Strike, they screamed for 60 seconds at 3.24pm – the time of day when women technically start working for free because of the wage gap.
They also staged a flash mob and held a minute’s silence for women killed by husbands or boyfriends.
Coronavirus restrictions meant there was a lower turnout than last year, when 500,000 people marched to highlight the nation’s poor record on women’s rights.
Roxanne Errico, a 19-year-old student in Geneva who said her mother was killed by her violent partner, said her screams were not only for herself: “I also scream for my sisters and brothers.
“I scream for all the other children who lost a mother or a father, and I also scream for my mother, who would have screamed if she was still here.”
Another Geneva resident, Rose-Angela Gramoni, said she had not missed an annual strike since they started in 1991.
“Now I can die in peace,” the woman in her 70s said.
“The next generation is here to take over. But for a while, I was very sad. I thought we fought for many things, but we did not finish the job and nobody was here to finish it.”
Vani Niuti, 20, said she would “love to walk at night wearing a skirt, shorts or leggings without being insulted, without being scared to be raped”.
Switzerland has a high quality of life but lags other developed economies in women’s pay and equality.
Women earn roughly a fifth less than men – an improvement on 30 years ago when they earned a third less, but worse than in 2000, government data shows.
Demonstrators decried violence against women and the LGBT community, and called for recognition of the often unpaid work of caring for family and relatives.
The first Women’s Strike took place a decade after gender equality had been enshrined in the constitution.
They marched to the slogan: “if it’s a woman’s will, everything will stand still.”
Activists say many of their demands have still not been met.
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