A woman shows a photo of Giulia Cecchettin, allegedly killed by ex-boyfriend, on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Nov.25, 2023. Image Credit: AP

Paris: Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Italy's biggest cities to voice outrage at violence against women days after the violent murder of a young student stunned the nation.

Italians gathered in Rome, Milan and other cities in support of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, amid shock and anger after a 22 year-old university student from the Venice area, Giulia Cecchettin, was killed shortly before her graduation.

Her former boyfriend and alleged murderer was on Saturday extradited from Germany where he had fled, according to a report by Italian news agency Ansa.

"I want to tell Italian women that they're not alone," Giorgia Meloni, Italy's first female prime minister, said in a Facebook post. In 2022, 106 women in Italy fell victim to femicide, up from 104 in 2021, according to estimates by the Italian national institute of statistics.

More than 3,000 women are killed each year in Europe by partners or family members, the European Commission said in a statement on Friday.

"Globally, the rights of women and girls have faced threats, reductions, or complete elimination, significantly impeding progress achieved over decades," European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said according to a statement.

European Union President Ursula von der Leyen called for a law to combat violence against women in a post on social media platform X.