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The event raises awareness about women's rights and crimes against women (Image: REUTERS)

Thousands of topless Israelis participate in ‘Slut Walk’ march in Tel Aviv

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Thousands of Israelis marched in solidarity through the streets of Tel Aviv as they protested sexual violence in an annual Slut Walk.

The demonstrators carried posters displaying photos of men accused of sex offenses, including  Kastiel, IDF officer Ofek Buchris, Erez Efrati, a bodyguard to the former head of the IDF, former president Moshe Katzav and others

Some demonstrators were topless while others wore bras or bikini tops as they raised awareness about women’s rights, inequality and crimes against women.

A woman holds up a sign during the demonstration in Tel Aviv (Image: REUTERS)

 

 

This year’s march also called for an end to victim blaming or shaming in cases of sexual violence, including rape.

The slut march is part of the Slutwalk movement, founded in Canada when a local policeman said women should stop dressing like sluts if they did not want to be raped. Participants of the first march raged against the idea that rape victims are responsible for the assault they endured.

During Friday’s march in Tel Aviv, women carried signs with slogans including “Not guilty”, “Make love, not rape” and “A thong is not an invitation to rape”, the Times of Israel reported.

Women wrote the Hebrew word for “slut” or phrases such as “No means no” on their bodies.

Event organiser Bracha Barad told the Jerusalem Post: “The word ‘slut’ is not just a word intended to humiliate women, it serves society and the system as a justification for rape.”

She added: “There is no connection between the victim’s clothing or her sexual past and the attack she has endured. The law and enforcement authorities are quick to grant exemptions to rapists.”

An organiser wrote on an event listing for the Slut Walk: “This year, again, many women joined the endless list of victims who were blamed.

“This year, again, we could not walk the streets in peace, even though the streets are ours as much as they are theirs.

“This year, again, thy wisteled [sic] at us, honked at us, yelled at us ‘you’re so fine’, ‘man what I’d do to you’, ‘those tits!’, ‘that ass!’.

Women get ready to take part in the annual Slut Walk on Friday (Image: REUTERS)

“This year, again, our body was considered public property.

This year, again, we could not refuse without being cursed, whatever we did, whatever we wore, whatever we asked or said – they called us ‘slut!'”

The listing added: “We will walk together, and shout that out body is not a sexuall [sic] object.

Participants wrote slogans on their bodies and on signs (Image: REUTERS)

“We will show them that ‘Slut’ is a name they invented to make us weak, to blame us for the crimes that we are offended by – and we have no intention of accepting it.”

Slut Walks recognise women’s rights – including personal choices and safety – and this year’s events are coinciding with the #MeToo movement.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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