Hundreds of protesters on Saturday gathered in Paris to decry violence against women amid rising femicide in the country.
“It’s a massacre,” said French actress Julie Gayet, who was once married to former-President Francois Hollande.
Data collected by a women’s advocacy group “Femicides par compagnons ou ex” showed that 74 women have so far been killed this year by their husband or partner, putting it on track to exceed last year’s figure.
The French Interior Ministry has said that at least 130 women were killed in 2017 by their husband or partner, up from 123 the previous year.
“We need to raise awareness on what’s happening today, which means that despite society’s evaluation, there’s a step backward, and even more women are dying today,” said Gayet.
Read more: Opinion: Violence against women is a universal problem
Women of all ages gathered in Place de la Republique in Paris to protest the growing trend, saying: “Stop the femicide”
Gov’t efforts fall flat
French Gender Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa backed the protests, saying more needed to be done to end violence against women.
“I share the anger of victims and their relatives and reiterate my support to this struggle and the government’s determination,” Schiappa said in a tweet.
Some advocacy groups said the government’s efforts have failed to stop the increase in femicide.
“I ask [French Presiden] Emmanuel Macron: How much is the life of a woman worth? Nothing is being done. It is shameful,” actress Muriel Robin told French media.
Advocacy groups have put forward several proposes, including creating more women’s shelters and suspending child custody for men suspected of killing their partner pending investigation.
Read more: A daughter killed by her family – a story of love and ‘honor’
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ls/sms (dpa, Reuters)