Swiss Women Stage Scream-In to Protest Violence Against Women

Women in Switzerland took to the streets last weekend to stage a scream-in, protesting violence against women, the gender pay gap, and street harassment.

While the country ranks second in the United Nations equality index, Amnesty International found one in five women in Switzerland had experienced some form of sexual violence. And when it comes to the pay gap, women working full-time earned 11.5% less than men.

The Swiss Trade Union Federation organized the protests and said the coronavirus pandemic exposed a lack of progress in improving equality, working conditions and brought to light unpaid domestic work.

Women’s rights activists say they’re experiencing systematic discrimination in the workplace, they lack job security and advancement and that they lack protection from harassment, abuse, and violence.

The protests are personal for those involved. A 19-year-old protestor spoke to Reuter’s about why she participated and said, “For me it is emotional. Because I scream for me, but I also scream for my sisters and brothers, I scream for all the other children who lost a mother or father, and I also scream for my mother who would have screamed if she was still here.” Roxanne Errico revealed her mother died at the hands of an abusive boyfriend.

The Realist Woman’s take:

There is a rage inside women they usually repress for fear of being deemed crazy, overly emotional, aggressive, and fearing they won't be taken seriously. Women are discouraged from expressing their anger in society as patriarchal systems want them to remain silent, subservient, and "feminine." 

But women more than deserve to scream. This world wasn't built for us and every step of the way we are fighting to be heard. The women of Switzerland have made many strides in the workplace and with regards to education but women are still looking for advancements and equality. They are also tired of being attacked and harassed and this protest took place to express the rage behind their experiences. I commend them for doing so.

One in five women have experienced sexual violence in the country