Press release from Million Women Rise.
- Europe’s biggest march for women
- Taking place on International Women’s Day – 8 March 2014
- 10,000 women marched last year and even more expected on Saturday
- Central London route: Oxford St, Piccadilly Circus, ending in Trafalgar Square
- 7th annual Million Women Rise march
- Calling for an end to all forms of violence against women
More than 10,000 women and children will take to the streets of central London on International Women’s Day - Saturday, 8 March, 2014.
The march, organised by Million Women Rise (MWR), is holding up a mirror to the reality of male violence against women in the UK, bringing women together to say enough is enough.
Million Women Rise organises coaches to make the march accessible to women from all across the UK, thousands of whom will meet at 12 noon outside Selfridges on Oxford Street.
Together they will stop traffic along the capital’s busiest thoroughfares as they follow a route past some of London’s most iconic landmarks.
Drummers, whistles, banners and lots of colour will ensure that the marchers cannot be ignored as they break through the silence and acceptance, calling for an end to all forms of violence against women.
Professor Liz Kelly from the Violence against Women’s Coalition (EVAW) and head of Women and Child Abuse Studies and Research Unit at London Metropolitan University said:
"On Million Women Rise I feel part of a movement of women dedicated to supporting survivors and to ending violence against women and girls. It is always powerful and inspiring, restoring our strength and our pledge to ourselves and each other to never give up until the violence stops."
Sabrina Qureshi, founder of Million Women Rise, named one of the new pioneers of feminism by the Independent, said:
“Worldwide, one in three women will experience some form of violence in her lifetime. If violence against women were a disease, governments everywhere would be declaring a state of emergency.
“Every one of the millions of women and children every year who die or are injured as a consequence of male violence is a stark reminder of why we march, and why we cannot rest until we have eliminated this violence against women. To do nothing is to accept this violation of our human rights and to say that those lives are valueless or less important than others.”
The march is supported by women’s organisations up and down the country including the SouthHall Black Sisters, the Women’s Resource Centre, Women and Girls Network, Imkaan and Rape Crisis England and Wales.
“Rape Crisis is extremely proud to have been part of the Million Women Rise coalition these last seven years and we’re looking forwarding to marching on London in solidarity with women and children from across the UK and the globe again this International Women’s Day. Through 40 years’ experience of providing frontline support services to women and girls affected by all forms of sexual violence, we know how urgent and how current the need to highlight and tackle male violence against women remains. We cannot and will not stop until every woman’s right to live free from the fear and experience of violence is a reality.”
Katie Russell, Rape Crisis England & Wales
While the march is for women and children only, men are invited to cheer from the sidelines.
At the rally in Trafalgar Square following the march, there will be inspirational speakers to listen to, including survivors of the kind of violence and abuse we are marching to prevent.
The march and rally demand more than words, enquiries, policies and strategies from government. Women are marching to demand the money and resources to match the levels of violence we live with and to enable women to live free from the threat of male violence.
Million Women Rise also calls for International Women’s Day (8 March) to be declared a national holiday in celebration and recognition of women’s contribution to all areas of UK society.
Notes to Editors
Million Women Rise is a coalition of ordinary women who want to see an end to all forms of violence against women in their lifetime. Everybody who works with MWR does so free of charge and our activities are funded entirely by donations. Please check our website for more information: millionwomenrise.com
Journalists wishing to speak to someone from Million Women Rise should contact Vivienne Hayes on 07930361945 or the info line on 07727419634 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Statistics on violence against women in the UK:
- One woman in four will experience domestic violence at some point in her life.
- Domestic violence has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police).
- Two women are murdered every week by their partner or ex-partner.
- One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.
- One woman in four will experience sexual assault as an adult.
- Only 5% of rapes reported to the police result in the perpetrator being convicted in court.
- Women are more worried about rape than any other crime.
- 250 cases of forced marriage are reported each year.
- Up to 1,420 women per year are trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation
- One woman a month is murdered in the name of ‘so called’ honour.
- Nearly 90% of local authorities do not have a rape crisis centre.
- More than 20,000 girls could be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.