March 5, 2017 7:54 pm

From London to Istanbul, marchers rally ahead of International Women’s Day

WATCH: Annie Lennox attends march in London ahead of International Women’s Day

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Thousands of women are marching in London, one of several cities gearing up for International Women’s Day on Wednesday.

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Led by activist and singer Annie Lennox and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, marchers demanded equal pay, gender equality and an end to violence against women.

Human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger took a shot at U.S. President Donald Trump

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“And I am calling as well for us to think about what we are facing with a president in the U.S. who wants to belittle women, who wants to reduce our rights, who wants to diminish us – and that we should stand up.”

In Poland, women and men drummed their way through the capital Warsaw, focusing on reproductive rights.

Poland only allows abortion in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s health, but the Catholic Church wants a total ban.

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And the conservative Law and Justice Party plans to tighten those limits even further… alarming protesters.

“Our government tries to implement various laws that strip away our rights to give birth humanely, to have access to the health service independently of the Church.”

In Turkey, women took to the streets of Istanbul to protest against domestic violence.

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They also used the opportunity to campaign against an upcoming referendum that could give President Tayyip Erdogan more powers.

In Sanliurfa, scuffles broke out when riot police told organizers they did not have permission to demonstrate.

23 protesters were detained.

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In the Gaza Strip, Hamas authorities said they wouldn’t obey a declaration to give students a day off on Wednesday for International Women’s Day.

The internationally backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has declared women’s day a public holiday. But the Islamic militant Hamas, which has controlled Gaza for the past decade, said Sunday it would not obey the order.

Under the group’s rule, Gazan society has grown increasingly conservative, with Hamas imposing a dress code on female lawyers, principals harassing students who don’t wear headscarves and occasionally banning women from smoking in cafes.

— With files from the Associated Press

 

© 2017 Thomson Reuters

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