Turkish men have taken to wearing skirts during protests to order to bring attention to the growing problem of violence against women in their country:
The protests were triggered by the murder of 20-year-old Ozgecan Aslan:
The woman was reportedly the last person on a bus one evening, when the driver allegedly attempted to rape and killed her as she fought to defend herself. Then, with help from an accomplice, he burned her body.
It is suspected that she tried to fight off the attack with pepper spray, and that was hit with an iron bar and stabbed during the struggle. Her hands were also cut off, presumably to help hide her identity. The driver of the bus is reported by the Telegraph to have confessed to the crime.
Why are the protesting men wearing miniskirts? According to the BBC, the way women dress has been blamed for the violence against them. The participating men are posting selfies in skirts with the hashtag #ozgecanicinminietekgiy (wear a miniskirt for Ozgecan).
Their rallying cry on Facebook states:
“'If a miniskirt is responsible for everything, if [wearing] a miniskirt means immorality and unchastity, if a woman who wears a miniskirt is sending an invitation about what will happen to her, then we are also sending an invitation!'”:
The participating women posted selfies showing them dressed in black. Some wore “provacative leggings”, which have also been blamed for attacks on women:
They have also used the hashtag #sendeanlat (tell your story), in order to encourage women to come forward with their stories of violence, harassment and intimidation faced because they are female:
Violence against women is a growing problem in Turkey. The Telegraph reports:
"In 2011, statistics given by Sadullah Ergin, Turkey's then justice minister, showed that between 2002 and 2009, the number of women murdered increased by 1,400 per cent, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
According to Al Jazeera, official figures said an estimated 28,000 women were assaulted in 2013."
Included in the report is a graph showing the dramatic increase in the number of women murdered in Turkey:
The New York Times reports that violence against women in the country has historically come with minimal punishments, but some recently proposed bills may change that. The bills were previously dismissed, but interest in them has been renewed since Ms. Aslan's death.