The annual Caravan of Women, organised to celebrate International Day of the Working Woman, set off from Palma yesterday morning, going to Sant Joan, Vilafranca and Santa Maria del Cami. The women travelled by car and motorbike, and the purpose was to protest at the growing wave of domestic violence and problems at the work place. This is the fifth year that this event has been held and it attracted about 100 women, who hold meetings in towns and villages on their route, explaining what women can do when faced with domestic violence. It is organised by the feminist group Lobby de Dones, and a spokeswoman said that their work was to prevent violence and provide information, to get the entire population involved so that cases of domestic violence are brought into the spotlight. In Sant Joan, the Lobby de Dones joined up with the local feminist group Sa Dona en el Segle XXI at a demo in the Casa de Cultura, where a manifesto against domestic violence was read out. The same manifesto was read out at the town halls of Vilafranca and Santa Maria del Cami. The rally ended with lunch at a Vilafranca restaurant, during which the women exchanged opinions about the situation of women in the world today. It was reported earlier this month that women in the Balearics earn on average 30 per cent less than men, the worst record in Spain. They are also more affected by unemployment, and domestic violence appears to be on the increase: a young Belgian woman found murdered in Majorca last week is believed to have been the victim of domestic violence.

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