South America

Thousands protest at Brazil 'rape culture'

Women protest against the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Source: AAP

Some 2000 women protested in the centre of Rio de Janeiro alone where last week a 16-year-old girl was allegedly gang raped by at least 30 men.

Thousands of Brazilian have taken to the streets in several cities to demand the end of sexual assaults against women and the "rape culture".

Some 2000 women protested in the centre of Rio de Janeiro where last week a 16-year-old girl was allegedly gang raped by at least 30 men who filmed the assault and later published the video on social media.

The protesters chanted slogans against rape and carried numerous signs such as "No means No," "machismo kills", "it is violence, not sex" and "when I woke up, there were 30 men on top of me", quoting the gang rape's victim.

"Sexists beware, Latin America will be all feminist", chorused many women during the demonstration, which marched through the Avenida Presidente Vargas, the main artery of downtown Rio.

One of the protesters, Esperanca Fernandes Almeida, told Efe that in Brazil "there is a normalisation of rape" through advertising and soap operas and that "the woman is always blamed" questioning their dress and treating their bodies "as objects".

In Sao Paulo, there was a similar demonstration near the Art Museum of Sao Paulo, in the central Avenida Paulista, where hundreds of women gathered.

The march in Sao Paulo, under the name "For all of them", addressed claims such as machismo, misogyny, rape and women's rights.

The activists carried signs with messages like "my body is mine", "rape, it's not the victim's fault" and "your machismo kills".

The protesters then joined the Movement of Homeless Workers, which occupied the headquarters of the Presidency of the Republic in Sao Paulo a few blocks away.

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