Women Take to Streets to Protest Domestic Violence

'We must erase the concept of honor killing,' Livni tells rally marking day against abuse of women

Dozens of people marched through Tel Aviv and Nazareth yesterday to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Women march Tel Aviv- Moti Kimche
Moti Kimche

The Tel Aviv protesters carried 15 caskets representing murdered women from the Women's International Zionist Organization headquarters to the plaza in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art where a rally was held, holding signs that read slogans such as "We'll put an end to violence."

The caskets represented the 18 women who have been murdered by their partners in 2010. The organizer of the event said that there were only 15 caskets representing the women because "they couldn't keep up" due to the recent wave of murders in the last few weeks.

"This is a horrifying statistic and I hope that next year we will decrease the number of caskets," said Nurit Kaufman. "This is a horrifying social trend and unfortunately we know that women will continue to be murdered."

Kadima head Tzipi Livni spoke at the rally and said that "this day needs to be a day in which Israeli society will understand that there are words that we cannot use. We must erase the concepts of honor killing and murder on romantic grounds. There is no romance in death and there is no honor in murder."

Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog also spoke and urged that the discourse surrounding violence against women be turned away from pornography and veered toward the serious problems in Israeli society such as sexual harassment in the workplace, silencing of women in the home and murder cases.

Dozens of Arab women and activists in women's organizations along with relatives of victims of violence in the Arab community took part yesterday in a rally at Nazareth's Spring Square to mark the day. Participants, including Hadash MKs Afu Aghbaria and Mohammed Barakeh carried torches and placards condemning violence against women, particularly in the Arab community. Aida Touma-Sliman, director of Women Against Violence, the association that organized the rally, said women should no longer keep silent. She also called on the authorities to upgrade deterance.