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International Women’s Day march dedicated to victims of male violence

Million Women Rise call out state failures to tackle misogyny and racism in society

BLACK women will lead a march through London today to remember the victims of male violence and call out state failures to tackle the crises of misogyny and racism in society. 

Thousands are expected to join the Million Women Rise march, held annually on March 4 ahead of International Women’s Day, from Oxford Street to Trafalgar Square. 

The only-women event, which began in 2007, calls for an end to the individual and “institutionalised” male violence against women worldwide. 

Organisers said the march was taking place this year at a time when state failings are leaving women exposed to male violence, including a series of high-profile cases involving police officers. 

They will highlight the horrific case of Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick, who kept his job in the force despite multiple complaints, allowing him to commit more than 80 sexual offences over 20 years. 

Women will also highlight the case of black girl Child Q, who was strip searched by police at her school while on her period. 

Million Women Rise founder Sabrina Qureshi said: “Violence against women is widespread in our society, yet none of our political leaders are willing to truly take this on. 

“Structural and everyday racism mean black women and children are not believed or protected when we need help. 

“How many more women and girls have to be harmed, raped and murdered before it is recognised as the crisis that it is?”

Latest official figures show that 198 women were killed, almost all by men, in the 12 months to the end of March last year — a rise of 24 per cent compared to the previous year. 

A third were killed by their partner or former partner. 

At the march, women will also condemn the police sharing photos on Whatsapp of the bodies of sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry who were killed in a west London park in June 2020. 

Their mother Mina Smallman is among those expected to address the rally today via a video link.

She said: “When women rise up and make a stand, there’s no stopping us. Women are saying it’s time.”

The event focuses on black women and girls and those from the global South as they are less often reported on and less likely to receive justice when wronged, the organisers added. 

Michelle Daley, another member of the network, said: “We rise because we are against decisions, policies and practices that repeatedly contribute to the deaths and harm of women and girls through neglect, trauma and violence.”

Ms Qureshi added that the event was aimed at providing a space “where no woman or girl is forgotten.”

The march begins at 1.15pm on March 4 at Duke Street (


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