Reclaim the Night March

Despite the cold and rain, 300 women united together in the centre of Nottingham on Saturday night for the annual Reclaim the Night March. In solidarity, women sang, stomped, danced and chanted against street harassment, victim-blaming and all forms of gendered hate crime.

Chanting, drumming and whistling could be heard across Nottingham as the march progressed from Sneiton Market, through Hockley, past the Old Market Square, and finally, to the NTU Newton Building.

The event saw the support under many different banners including Broxtowe Labour Women, Nottingham City Women’s Institute, POW Nottingham and Nottingham Labour Students. Em Aitchison, third-year Politics student and Women’s Officer for Nottingham Labour Students, told Impact,

“We must also remember that in the era of Tory austerity women are hit the hardest, especially as services to help domestic violence victims are under threat. Its so powerful to see women come together against these injustices.”

The march followed poignant speeches from Nadia Whittome, hate crime worker and parliamentry candidate for Nottingham East, Yasmin Rehman, CEO of JUNO Women’s Aid Nottingham, Sophie Maskell from Nottingham’s Women Centre, Lisa Clarke from the ‘No More Page 3’ Campaign and Sal Morawetz from Pro-Choice Nottingham.

As highlighted by Lisa Clarke, 2019 has seen some progression in women’s rights. With regards to the ‘No More Page 3’ Campaign, following The Sun, in April 2019, The Daily Star announced that it would also cease publishing images of topless glamour models. Nonetheless, much Clarke stipulated in her speech, addressing the continued objectification of clothed women in these tabloid papers, the story of the fight for women’s rights is not over yet.

Figures from the National Office of Statistics in 2018 shows women are twice as likely suffer partner abuse. Moreover, in 2019, data from police forces in England and Wales reveals the number of people killed as a result of domestic violence is at a five-year high. Sandra Horley, the chief executive of the Refuge charity, commented on these findings,

“Now more than ever, violence against women and girls must be taken seriously. But change will not happen without pressure, and we know that women and girls depend on us to keep pushing for action.”

Ellie Stainforth-Mallison

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