EWL News

Today, tomorrow and every day - end violence against women and girls in Europe

[7 March 2024, Brussels] On International Women’s Day, the European Women’s Lobby releases its analysis of the agreement on the Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence, calling for its immediate adoption.

On this day, we stand in solidarity with millions of women in Europe and globally who have been victims of one or more forms of violence in their lifetime. Although the EU is one of the most developed regions in the world in many aspects, half of its population remains at risk of violence and harassment every day:

  • at least 2 women are killed every day in the EU by an intimate partner or a family member;
  • 44% of women have suffered psychological violence from their partner; and
  • almost 80% of those who experience intimate partner violence do not report it.

“Violence against women is never a private matter but a structural issue embedded in patriarchy, sexism and misogyny. We must use this opportunity to adopt the Directive and take a first significant step towards ending all forms of violence against women and girls in the EU” said Iliana Balabanova, EWL President.

The European Women’s Lobby welcomed the agreement sealed by the Belgian Presidency of the EU and the European Parliament on the first-ever Directive on violence against women and domestic violence back in February. This is the first piece of legislation at the EU level dedicated to comprehensively addressing this topic and it must be adopted by the end of this mandate. The text of the agreement lays down a set of minimum rules to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence and respond to the specific needs of its victims.

Following our analysis of the agreed text, the EWL calls for its immediate adoption by the Council and the European Parliament and calls on the Member States to ensure that its implementation is done promptly, with consideration of the expertise and demands of women’s organisations. Read our analysis here and a Explainer on the Directive here.

A review of the Directive is foreseen within a maximum of 5 years after implementation giving a crucial opportunity for its scope to be extended. The EWL and its members will continue working relentlessly to ensure an adequate common approach to rape based on freely given consent prevails in Europe. It is crucial to put an end to the disgraceful culture of impunity and to ensure that survivors feel safe to seek justice and reparation. Furthermore, the EWL will rise and campaign to ensure that the scope of the Directive is soon extended to address all forms of sexual and reproductive exploitation, including rape, forced sterilisation and sexual harassment.

More than 140.000 European citizens have signed EWL and WeMove Europe petition calling EU decision-makers to adopt the Directive and to ensure that Europe is a safe place for all women and girls and that the sexual autonomy of women is well protected.

Find more about EWL Campaign on the Directive here.

Join us in making International Women’s Day a call for eradicating all forms of male violence against women!

Latest video

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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