Socialist Alternative Protests - Credit Makenna Ali

Local activists claim “the system is by nature divided by rich and poor and gender baselines”

  • UN International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women
  • Gender-based violence protest in Manchester
  • Socialist alternative put forward

Feminist Socialist Alternative took to Oxford Road in Manchester to mark the United Nation’s international day for the elimination of violence against women.

Socialist Alternative organised protests across the country to raise awareness for gender-based violence. It is a political organisation in England, Wales, and Scotland, and is part of an international movement that has sections in 30 countries across the globe: International Socialist Alternative.

Becci Heagney, a member of Socialist Alternative, said the protest was part of the campaign against gender violence, misogyny, and transphobia.

She said: “We campaign for changes in the law and the justice system. We’ve had a lot of issues with the police carrying out gender violence. When victims go to the police they don’t get justice.”

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign that starts on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. Credit-Makenna Ali

According to Matthew Kirby a member of Socialist Alternative, “the system is by nature divided by rich and poor and gender baselines”.

Gender-based violence in Manchester

‘Gender-based violence is everywhere, in the homes, in every workplace and institutions’

Becci Heagney, member of Feminist Socialist Alternative

Gender-based violence is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the UK. One in every four women experience gender-based violence in the UK. It can be sexual, physical, emotional, verbal, or even socio-economic. It takes the place of numerous forms from harassment, hate speech, assault, and murder.

The term gender-based violence is an umbrella term for any harm inflicted on an individual against their will. It stems from power imbalances and inequalities based on gender roles. It illustrates that violence against women is a demonstration of power inequalities amongst genders.

“We are not blaming men. When we talk about men it is not inherent that they are violent. It is the system that’s creating inequalities and competition,” said Becci.

When asked about the challenges faced, a member of Socialist Alternative said: “In Manchester, there is some of the worst poverty and inequalities.

“We have all these new very expensive tower blocks with lots of money for the contractors and builders. At the same time, the council has spent the last 20 years closing down women refugees, homeless access shelters, and council housing. Poverty is worse and within poverty you get violence, you get sexism, and all the things we’re campaigning against today.”

Changes to eliminate gender-based violence

According to Socialist Alternative it is a big change to eliminate gender-based violence. The issue cannot be solved by new laws or more money for services, they say.

Becci said: “The challenge is bringing the idea that we can make change and that we can live in a better world without violence.”