We marched through the city in silence, because sometimes, nothing sends a stronger message than being silent. Through silence, we gave a voice to the ones that have been silenced forever and for those who currently can't find the strength to speak up against violence against women.
We chose to be visible during the march. We held up a banner that said 'against toxic masculinity, for radical equality'. It's important that people know what we stand for, what our vision is and what we're fighting for. By showing this banner, we wanted to show that speaking out against violence towards women is a top priority. Not just now it's all over the news, but always.
BIJ1 is a party that doesn't shy away from the painful conversations that need to be had. The truth, unfortunately, is very grim and the numbers don't lie: at least 45% of women 15 years or older have experienced violence. The cases that got reported, at least. The real number is probably more around 70%.
The role of men and toxic masculinity in our society is something we must talk about. Unfortunately, we live in a society where women have to feel afraid because of men far too often. We live in a society where talking about women in a degrading way is accepted, (sexual) intimidation, homophobia, and transphobia aren't just accepted but often even carried out on TV.
Violence against women is accepted and even seen as 'normal' far too often. We want to put an end to this toxic masculinity and the behavior that comes from it. Of course, not all men are perpetrators, but the perpetrators are nearly always men.
After the march, politicians and the mayor promised to really start working on this issue with different organizations and we will do everything in our power to be a part of that.