Dozens of Israelis held a SlutWalk rally in Jerusalem on Friday to protest sexual violence and counter claims that women’s attire or behaviour provoke rape and sexual assault, an AFP correspondent said.
Predominantly young women and some men marched through central streets of the Holy City in minimal or sexually suggestive clothing, chanting slogans and bearing signs.
One female organiser participated in the half-hour march with nothing on the front of her torso besides a sticker in Hebrew across her breasts that read “How am I dressed? Dial 1-800-none-of-your-business.”
Others carried signs reading “we want it with consent,” “a woman of valour wears what she wants” and “justice for women.”
The Israeli marchers called their event “March of the Sharmutot,” using the Arabic word for prostitute which in Hebrew slang means slut.
An ultra-orthodox member of the Jerusalem municipality protested earlier this week against the march, and the small number of police securing the event kept men with religious appearance at a safe distance from it, the AFP correspondent said.
Similar objections and security arrangements arise in Jerusalem ahead of the gay pride marches that take place in the city.
A police spokeswoman told AFP that Friday’s rally passed without disturbance.
SlutWalks have been held in dozens of cities around the world, including Toronto, Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand, New Delhi, Philadelphia, Seoul, Sydney, Washington, Paris and Berlin. In March, SlutWalks were held in the Israeli cities of Haifa and Tel Aviv.
The global phenomenon began in Toronto in April last year when hundreds of women and men took to the Canadian city’s streets to protest a police constable’s comment that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.
[Dozens of Israeli activists take part in a “SlutWalk” rally in Jerusalem via AFP / Gali Tibbon]