Huge rallies condemn violence against women in Italy
Italy's president said the murder of women could not be tolerated.
In a statement marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Sergio Mattarella said: "Dramatic news stories have shaken the country's conscience.
"A human society that aspires to be civilised cannot accept, cannot endure, this string of attacks on women and murders," he said, adding that violence against women was a failure of society.
Data from the Italian interior ministry shows that 106 women have so far been killed in Italy this year, 55 of them allegedly by a partner or ex-partner.
The protests take place amid a backdrop of public anger and soul-searching over the murder of Ms Cecchettin, a 22-year-old biomedical engineering student who had been due to graduate from the University of Padua last week.
Suspect Filippo Turetta, 21, landed at the Venice airport around mid-morning on Saturday. He was immediately transferred to a prison in the northern city of Verona to face questions in the investigation into Cecchettins death, Italian media reported.
Cecchettin had disappeared after meeting Turetta for a burger at a shopping mall near Venice, just days before she was to receive her degree in biomedical engineering. The case gripped Italy.
Her body was found on Nov. 18 covered by black plastic bags in a ditch near a lake in the foothills of the Alps. Turetta was arrested the following day in Germany.
Cecchettins killing has sparked an unprecedented wave of grief and anger in Italy, where many women say patriarchal attitudes are still entrenched.
Male soccer players in Italy join campaign to eliminate violence against women
Players and coaches across the top mens soccer league in Italy had red marks painted on their faces to promote a campaign for the elimination of violence against women on Saturday.
The initiative coincided with rallies across Italy to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, just as an Italian man suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend was extradited from Germany.
(80% of Italians consider themselves Catholic.)
And yet the pope is the leader of a church that still to this day does not clearly teach that divorce is acceptable in situations of domestic violence. Francis' apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia quotes Pope John Paul II in telling those in abusive marriages that "separation must be considered as a last resort, after all other reasonable attempts at reconciliation have proved vain."
And Francis still has not managed to definitively change the church's teaching that those who are divorced and remarried outside the church should be denied Communion, a spiritual violence that only exacerbates the shame and guilt heaped on those who have ended their marriages.
In his condemnation of violence against women, the pope makes continual reference to the fact that women "must be respected and honored," because a woman's body which he calls "the noblest flesh in the world" is capable of conceiving and giving birth.
What the pope still doesn't seem to consider is the way in which the church exerts enormous, life-or-death power over the bodies of women. Catholic doctrine on contraception and abortion has forced countless women, many of them the poorest of the poor, to give birth, even if they are rape victims and or facing high-risk pregnancies that could kill them. Where is the humanity in this treatment of a woman's body?