Latin America & Caribbean

Mexican women strike to protest against gender-based violence

Women carry pink crosses during the "Day without women" protest in Mexico Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Protesters carried pink crosses to mark the victims of gender-based violence
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Millions of women in Mexico have taken part in a day-long strike to highlight rising levels of gender-based violence.

The protest, dubbed "The Day Without Us", saw women across the country stay home from work and school on Monday.

In Mexico City, few women could be seen on public transport, in major shopping areas or in restaurants and cafes.

An estimated 10 women are killed each day in Mexico and police are investigating more than 700 cases of "femicide", the killing of women.

Many schools were closed as a result of the protest and female students boycotted university lectures.

A woman sits among pink crosses during the "Day without women" protest in Mexico Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Women stayed home from work and school across the country
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"This is what a society without women would look like," Jorge Luna, a 21-year-old employee at a cafe where only male staff turned up for work, told AFP news agency.

Some women who did choose to work wore purple ribbons or clothing to express solidarity with the action. Several newspapers featured purple-coloured pages and left empty spaces where women writers would normally have appeared.

Pairs of women's red shoes are displayed next to a toy gun during the "Day without women" protest Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Pairs of women's red shoes are seen here displayed next to a toy gun
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Women carry pink crosses during the protest Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Female students boycotted university lectures and many schools were closed

The protest followed a huge demonstration in Mexico City on Sunday that marked International Women's Day.

About 80,000 people took to the streets and there were clashes between police and protesters.

The rally began peacefully, but police said some groups threw petrol bombs and officers responded with tear gas. More than 60 people were injured.

Women raise their fists during a protest on the International Women's Day in Mexico Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The strike followed a mass demonstration in Mexico City on Sunday
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A woman faces the police while taking part in a protest during the International Women's Day in Mexico City Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption That march attracted tens of thousands but was marred by clashes between the police and protesters

The problem of violence against women in Mexico is getting worse and the government is being accused of inaction.

President López Obrador was criticised in February for suggesting that media were "manipulating" the problem. He later said his government was attentive to the issue.

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