Ukraine’s infamous topless protesters are taking their novel demonstrations on the road. They have already staged protests in other parts of Europe. Recent ones include an anti-Pope protest in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City and an anti-hijab protest in Paris. Now, they plan to take their protests farther afield, with actions and training centers planned in South America and North Africa.
Femen first began protesting in Ukraine in 2008. In 2009, they painted slogans on their backs during a demonstration. The photos from that protest were a hit, and soon they decided that they needed to go a little further to get even more reaction. That same year, they began having topless protests, which, as they planned, garnered even more attention. Femen representatives say that the topless stunts are necessary to draw attention to their work.
The group has not found much support in their native Ukraine. Some detractors say that it is because there does not seem to be much substance or a clear agenda behind the theatrics. Femen members say that it is because there is little support for feminist movements in Ukraine. They say they expect their actions to make more of an impact in the other countries where groups are starting.