Press Releases

One year after: Europe needs a strong Directive to combat violence against women NOW!

[Brussels, 7 March 2023] On International Women’s Day 2023, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) reiterates its demands for the EU to enhance and swiftly adopt the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence. An enhanced Directive, including a strong harmonised definition on rape in Article 5 as well as provisions on sexual exploitation and online violence against women and girls, remains our goal.

The EWL continuously advocates for inclusion of all forms of violence against women and girls in the Directive. The Directive must criminalise all forms of sexual abuse (i.e. sexual violence, rape and sexual harassment) and abuse over women’s sexuality (i.e. FGM, forced abortion and sterilisation, forced pregnancy and sexual exploitation, including prostitution, pornography and surrogacy).

“One year after the historic introduction of the proposal for a Directive on violence against women and domestic violence, we are at a crossroads for women’s rights in Europe. For the first time in a decade, gender inequalities have grown, according to the EIGE Gender Equality Index 2022, and in Europe every week at least 50 women die from male domestic violence. We urge the EU institutions to adopt the Directive including a strong legal definition of rape to protect women and girls in the EU from male violence. The time to act is now!” - Réka Sáfrány, President of the European Women’s Lobby

The EWL will mark this International Women’s Day with several actions around Brussels, the CSW67 in New York and online. Follow us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) to see what the EWL is doing to mark the International Women’s Day.

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The European Women’s Lobby is the largest umbrella organization of women’s associations in Europe. Founded in 1990, the EWL works to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men and represents more than 2000 organizations across Europe.


Laura Kaun, Policy and Campaigns Director
Mirta Baselovic, Communications and Media Coordinator

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EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

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