Hundreds of women took to the streets of London yesterday to protest against male violence

The march, organised by the Million Women Rise (MWR) collective, saw the group call for an end to violence against women and girls.

Hundreds of women took to the streets of London yesterday (4 March) to protest male violence against women and girls in the run-up to International Women’s Day.

The march – organised by members of the Million Women Rise (MWR) collective, a campaign group led by Black women for all women– saw the group walk from Oxford Street to Trafalgar Square carrying signs emblazoned with slogans including ‘Sisterhood + Solidarity’ and ‘Let Equality Bloom’.

The group drummed and chanted as they made their way through London’s streets.

Addressing the crowd following the march’s arrival in Trafalgar Square, speakers including Mina Smallman, the mother of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman and Farah Naz, the aunt of Zara Aleena, spoke about the need for action in the face of male violence against women and girls.

“We have so much important work to do,” Smallman, appearing via video message, said. “The slogan I would like us all to adopt is that ‘it’s time’. We have had enough talk. We have had enough rhetoric. Now we are demanding that those in power put girls and women’s safety at the forefront.” 

A woman holds a sign which reads: “You may shoot me with your words but still like air I’ll rise.”

A group of women lead the march with a Million Women Rise banner.

In a statement released via the MWR website, the collective’s founding co-ordinator Sabrina Qureshi spoke passionately about the goals at the heart of MWR’s activism.

“Our power is together,” Qureshi said. “While the tools of patriarchy seek to divide us and keep us in fear, Million Women Rise holds an alternative vision of revolutionary love and a world free of male violence.”

Two women hold a sign which reads: “Let equality bloom.”

A sign sticks out of the crowd reading: “Sisterhood + Solidarity.”

Qureshi continued: “This movement of women and girls is a manifestation of the heartbreak, grief, power, outrage and beauty of women and girls all around the planet, and of our resistance to male violence in all its forms. 

“Million Women Rise provides an important and precious space of interconnectedness and solidarity across our differences, where no woman or girl is forgotten.” 

Images: Getty

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