A demonstrator holds a sign during a march to demand more equality and the end of violence against women in Zurich, Switzerland (Photo: Reuters/NAN)

Women across Switzerland let loose with screams during a national protest on Sunday, demanding equal treatment and an end to violence at the hands of men.

Thousands of marchers in Geneva and other Swiss cities screamed for a minute at 3.24 p.m. – the time of day when women technically start working for free given the wage gap.

Last year, half a million people marched to highlight the nation’s poor record on women’s rights.

This year’s version of what organisers call the Women’s Strike was more subdued given coronavirus restrictions.

“For me, it is emotional because I scream. But I also scream for my sisters and brothers.

”I scream for all the other children who lost a mother or a father and I also scream for my mother, who would have screamed if she was still here,’’ said Roxanne Errico, a 19-year-old student, who said her mother was killed by her violent boyfriend.

Switzerland has a high quality of life but lags other developed economies in women’s pay and workplace equality.

Women earn roughly a fifth less than men, better than 30 years ago when it was about a third less.

Demonstrators decried violence against women and called for recognition of often unpaid work caring for family and relatives. They also staged a flash mob and held a minute’s silence for women killed by husbands or boyfriends.