Thousands gathered in Melbourne at a 'No Excuse' vigil, passionately calling for justice and solidarity with the Israeli women who fell victim to the brutal October 7 terrorist attack orchestrated by Hamas.
The crowd expressed frustration towards prominent female advocacy groups, accusing them of failing to adequately stand with the victims. The women attending the vigil voiced their discontent with the delayed response from U.N. Women, an organisation meant to champion their cause.
They criticised the agency for taking nearly two months to acknowledge, let alone condemn, the heinous attack where women endured rape, butchering, kidnapping, and sexual assault.
I also asked participants about their reaction to comments made by fourth-wave feminists Clementine Ford and Abbie Chatfield.
These figures not only refused to condemn the attacks but went as far as essentially blaming the victims, which sparked outrage among the gathered women.
One woman I talked to highlighted the need to create a bigger platform to counter the narratives perpetuated by those who unjustly victim-blamed the Israeli women. She spoke of standing united to reveal the truth and demonstrate unwavering support for the victims.
Others expressed a broader concern about the lack of solidarity from major feminist movements, including the global MeToo movement. They questioned the inconsistency in supporting women and speculated that this reluctance might be rooted in antisemitism.
Attendees expressed solidarity not only with Israeli women but with women worldwide who face injustice. They called for a collective effort to ensure that the voices of the victims are heard and their stories acknowledged.
The women emphasised the importance of standing up for women's rights and not shying away from addressing atrocities, even if the perpetrators are challenging to confront.