Hundreds of Minskers and guests of the city got an up-close look at the problem of domestic violence in Belarus as they passed by Płošča Jakuba Kołasa.
36 pairs of orange shoes were displayed in the city centre – each pair representing a victim of domestic violence who died as the result of it, Svaboda.org reports.
This year, 55 women died in Belarus for this reason. The display also featured posters telling under which circumstances those women and girls were killed.
“We still don’t have a law on domestic violence. We chose shoes for the art installation because it eloquently speaks of people who are no longer with us,” said March, Baby activist Marina Korzh.
The shoes used in the display were donated to the activists who later painted them orange to symbolize hope and a brighter future without violence against women.
The action is part of the global campaign against gender-based violence Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape. It was timed to Human Rights Day on 10 December.
Later it became known that during the filming of the action the police detained journalist Alexander Zenkov. Previously, locals authorities banned pickets against domestic violence in Minsk.
They were planned to be held on 9-10 December at Kiev Square as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. Such actions have already taken place in Istanbul, Rome and Yerevan.
Recall that last year President Alexander Lukashenko rejected a draft bill criminalizing domestic violence. Once the draft had been adopted, it would have introduced “economic violence”, “stalking”, and “harassment” concepts into the Belarusian law.
The bill covered all forms of domestic violence and measures to determine, prevent and combat it. Besides, it would have officially prohibited physically punishing children.