Thousands join global outcry over violence against women

Thousands join global outcry over violence against women
People march during a demonstration marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Thursday in Barcelona. (AFP)
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Updated 25 November 2021

Thousands join global outcry over violence against women

Thousands join global outcry over violence against women
  • The rallies took place to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
  • Protesters were also expected to hit the streets in Chile, Mexico and Venezuela.

MADRID: Thousands of protesters hit the streets of Europe and Latin America on Thursday to demand an end to violence against women.
The rallies took place to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with thousands marching through Madrid and Barcelona, while others gathered in Paris and London and more rallied in Guatemala and Honduras.
Protesters were also expected to hit the streets in Chile, Mexico and Venezuela.
In Spain, where the government has made the fight against domestic violence a national priority, thousands hit the streets of Madrid and Barcelona in a sea of purple flags, while others rallied in Valencia, Seville and other cities around the country.
In the Spanish capital, marchers wearing purple masks, hats and scarves walked behind a huge banner reading “Enough of male violence against women. Solutions now!“
“Not all of us are here, the murdered are missing,” they chanted as they marched past the Cibeles fountain and other historic buildings that had been illuminated in purple, holding signs reading “Not even one more death.”
“On a global level, it remains a scourge and a huge problem,” Leslie Hoguin, a 30-year-old student and actor told AFP.
“It’s high time that patriarchal violence against our bodies, our lives and our decisions came to an end.”
Many were fed up of the ongoing abuse faced by women.
“We are sick of the ongoing violence against us which takes many different forms,” said Maria Moran, a 50-year-old civil servant.
“We want to see prostitution abolished and an end to the murders, the abuse and the rapes.”
Back in 2004, Spain’s parliament overwhelmingly approved Europe’s first law cracking down on gender-based violence.
“Eradicating sexist violence is a national priority,” tweeted Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, a self-described feminist whose cabinet is dominated by women.
“We will only be a just society when we are done with all kinds of violence against women.”
So far this year, 37 women in Spain have been killed by their partners or ex-partners, and 1,118 since 2003 when the government started keeping a tally.
Nearly one in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by someone they know, according to UN Women, the United Nations’ organization for gender equality.
“Violence against women is a global crisis. In all of our own neighborhoods there are women and girls living in danger,” executive director Sima Bahous said in a video message.
Pope Francis also weighed in.
“Women victims of violence must be protected by society,” he tweeted.
“The various forms of mistreatment that many women suffer are cowardly and represent degradation for men and for all of humanity. We cannot look away.”


Prepare sanctions on Russia and ramp up military cooperation, Ukraine tells NATO

Prepare sanctions on Russia and ramp up military cooperation, Ukraine tells NATO
Updated 33 sec ago

Prepare sanctions on Russia and ramp up military cooperation, Ukraine tells NATO

Prepare sanctions on Russia and ramp up military cooperation, Ukraine tells NATO
RIGA: Ukraine urged NATO on Wednesday to boost military cooperation with Kyiv and prepare a package of measures, including sanctions, to deter Russia from attacking the country.
“We will call on the allies to join Ukraine in putting together a deterrence package,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters on arrival for talks with his NATO counterparts in Riga.
As part of this package, NATO should prepare economic sanctions to be imposed on Russia if it “decides to chose the worst-case scenario” and boost the military and defense cooperation with Ukraine, he said.

Nigeria confirms first cases of omicron among travelers from South Africa

Nigeria confirms first cases of omicron among travelers from South Africa
Updated 22 min 35 sec ago

Nigeria confirms first cases of omicron among travelers from South Africa

Nigeria confirms first cases of omicron among travelers from South Africa
  • Retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travelers to Nigeria

ABUJA: Nigeria confirmed its first cases of the omicron COVID-19 variant among two travelers who arrived from South Africa last week, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) said on Wednesday.
The NCDC said retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travelers to Nigeria had also identified the variant among a sample collected in October.


Malaysia bans travelers from countries deemed at risk from omicron

Malaysia bans travelers from countries deemed at risk from omicron
Updated 40 min 5 sec ago

Malaysia bans travelers from countries deemed at risk from omicron

Malaysia bans travelers from countries deemed at risk from omicron

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will temporarily ban the entry of travelers from countries that have reported the omicron coronavirus variant or are considered high-risk, its health ministry said on Wednesday.
It will also delay plans to set up so-called Vaccinated Travel Lanes with those countries, minister Khairy Jamaluddin told reporters.


Beijing wanted to ‘break’ Australia – US Indo-Pacific adviser

China’s preference would have been to break Australia. (Shutterstock)
China’s preference would have been to break Australia. (Shutterstock)
Updated 01 December 2021

Beijing wanted to ‘break’ Australia – US Indo-Pacific adviser

China’s preference would have been to break Australia. (Shutterstock)
  • ‘China’s preference would have been to break Australia. To drive Australia to its knees’

SYDNEY: China is conducting “dramatic economic warfare” against Australia and has tried to “break” the US ally, contributing to increased anxiety about Beijing in the region, the White House’s Indo Pacific coordinator, Kurt Campbell, said in a speech to a Sydney think tank on Wednesday.
US President Joe Biden raised the treatment of Australia, which has been subject to trade reprisals by Beijing, in his meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping as an example of behavior that was backfiring because Xi’s advisers were not providing effective feedback, Campbell told the Lowy Institute foreign policy institute.
“China’s preference would have been to break Australia. To drive Australia to its knees,” Campbell said.
Campbell underlined the United States’ commitment to new security and economic alliances in the Indo Pacific, including the defense technology pact with Australia and Britain, known as AUKUS, and the Quad of India, Japan, US and Australia.
These groups would also focus on technology, education, climate and pandemic cooperation, to show the US was bringing value to Asia, he said.
“The United States is not leaving the Indo-Pacific, and we’re not in decline,” he said, adding there appeared to be a belief among “ideological advisers around President Xi that somehow the United States is in this hurtling decline.”
Beijing’s lack of communication over its build up of nuclear deterrent capabilities, hypersonic and anti-satellite systems was of concern to the US, he said, calling them “practices, that, if they continue, run risks of triggering an unforeseen crisis, or a misunderstanding.”
The US was seeking dialogue on the issue, he said, and had told Beijing it wanted competition that was conducted peacefully.


More than third of world has never used Internet: UN

In this photo taken on March 6, 2020, primary school teacher Billy Yeung edits a video lesson he recorded in an empty classroom in Hong Kong. (AFP)
In this photo taken on March 6, 2020, primary school teacher Billy Yeung edits a video lesson he recorded in an empty classroom in Hong Kong. (AFP)
Updated 01 December 2021

More than third of world has never used Internet: UN

In this photo taken on March 6, 2020, primary school teacher Billy Yeung edits a video lesson he recorded in an empty classroom in Hong Kong. (AFP)
  • The number of users globally grew by more than 10 percent in the first year of the Covid crisis — by far the largest annual increase in a decade

GENEVA: Some 2.9 billion people — 37 percent of the world’s population — have still never used the Internet, the United Nations said Tuesday, despite the Covid-19 pandemic driving people online.
The UN’s International Telecommunication Union estimated that 96 percent of those 2.9 billion live in developing countries.
The agency said the estimated number of people who have gone online rose from 4.1 billion in 2019 to 4.9 billion this year, partially due to a “Covid connectivity boost.”
But even among those Internet users, many hundreds of millions might only go online infrequently, using shared devices or facing connection speeds that hamper their Internet use.
“ITU will work to make sure the building blocks are in place to connect the remaining 2.9 billion. We are determined to ensure no one will be left behind,” said ITU secretary-general Houlin Zhao.
The number of users globally grew by more than 10 percent in the first year of the Covid crisis — by far the largest annual increase in a decade.
The ITU cited measures such as lockdowns, school closures and the need to access services like remote banking.
But the growth has been uneven. Internet access is often unaffordable in poorer nations — almost three-quarters of people have never been online in the 46 least-developed countries.
Younger people, men and urbanites are more likely to use the Internet than older adults, women and those in rural areas, with the gender gap more pronounced in developing nations.
Poverty, illiteracy, limited electricity access and a lack of digital skills continue to challenge the “digitally excluded,” the ITU added.