By Horacio Fernando Soria and Miguel Lo Bianco
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Thousands of people marched against femicide and gender violence in Argentina's capital of Buenos Aires Friday afternoon, as part of a movement now in its seventh year called Ni Una Menos, or "Not One Woman Less."
The march was held in the center of the capital, culminating at the National Congress, where protesters lit candles to remember victims of gender-based violence. Marchers held banners that read "We want to stay alive" while others featured photographs of femicide victims.
According to the Women's Office of the Argentine Supreme Court of Justice, an average of one femicide was recorded every 35 hours in the country last year, with 81% of those killed classified as victims of domestic violence.
"Many women who ended up murdered had (made claims) with the police and had lodged previous complaints in the Ministry (for Women). They still ended up murdered," Marina Perez, a 50-year-old railway worker, said.
"There is still no immediate answer to the violence," she added.
By evening, the lights illuminating the Argentine parliament lit up in pink in solidarity.
"What happens to us here is that justice is slow and it's patriarchal," said Alejandra Lume, a 58-year-old Argentine woman who carried a sign that read "Old women are also killed."
"Despite the many complaints they make, women are often not listened to, they are not cared for and in general those who die, die after having made many complaints," said Lume, surrounded by the sound of women singing and the beat of drums.
(Reporting by Horacio Soria and Miguel Lo Bianco; Writing by Maximilian Heath and Isabel Woodford; Editing by Stephen Coates)