Photos: Women's Solidarity walk against violence in Rīga

Marking International Women's Day, “Center Marta” held a Women's Solidarity March against violence in Rīga on Friday, March 8. The move aims to appeal to the public to make choices in favor of action.

The march began at noon at the Freedom Monument with speeches from professionals and activists whose daily lives are linked to the elimination of violence against women.  After speeches from Freedom Monument Square, the procession moved along Kaļķu Street, then down to Doma Square, then along the Saeima, and concluded in Jēkaba Square.

The March was held for the sixth time and the themes are similar each year. Also this year, participants in March advocated the elimination of violence against women and domestic violence, stressing in particular the importance of reaching out for support and help, as well as taking action if they see fellow human beings suffer.

Beata Jonite, head of the March and policy coordinator at the Center Marta Society, said that it was important to hold the march right on Women's Day because “we want to remind you that Women's Day is not just about flowers and gifts, but that women deserve equal respect and opportunity, security in the world.”

“Center Marta” noted that big steps were taken last year to stamp out violence, including several legislative amendments, expansion of social services, and ratification of the Istanbul Convention. However, the norms and changes can only be implemented by society.

This year's March also highlighted grooming or adult attempts to develop relationships with a child or young person to sexually exploit or incite any illegal activities. 

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