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  1. ITV Report

Politicians and footballers among thousands protesting violence against women

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani showed his solidarity with the movement by sporting a red mark under his eye. Photo: AP

Politicians and footballers were among the thousands of people who protested violence against women on Sunday.

The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was marked by tens of thousands turning out across Europe.

At the EU Brexit summit in Brussels, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani sported a red swipe under his left eye as he addressed the media.

In his home country of Italy, the mark represents support for the day. Mr Tajani wrote on Twitter that “Nothing can justify violence against women. My mother taught it to me. I taught it to my children.”

The mark was also adopted by prominent Serie A footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo, Radja Nainggolan, Bruno Alves and Fabio Quagliarella.

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Demonstrations in Istanbul led to violent scenes after a police barricade was formed and several rounds of tear gas were fired.

Rights groups say violence against women is widespread in Turkey, and an online database called the Monument Counter says at least 337 women were killed by domestic violence in 2018.

The women's activist group Mor Cati said Turkey is more concerned with stopping protests than “preventing male violence.”

An end violence towards women demonstration in Istanbul on Sunday. Credit: AP

Activists marched in more than 40 cities and towns in Spain, with tens of thousands assembling in the capital of Madrid.

Official figures show 44 women have died this year in Spain from domestic violence.

A woman burns a flare during a protest against sexism and gender violence in Madrid. Credit: AP