European & International News

New study estimates the economic cost of violence against women at 228 billion euros per year

[Brussels, 27 November 2013] This week, MEP Antonyia Parvanova (ALDE, Bulgaria) has presented the Legislative Initiative Report "Combating Violence against women" at the European parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM). The report will be subject of amendments which will be voted at the FEMM Committee in December. Presumable, the report will be voted at the Plenary in February.

This Report was accompanied by an Assessment of the European Added Value Unite at the European Parliament. This study advocates for more action at EU level as it would contribute to provide better and more uniform protection to women and ensure legal certainty throughout the EU. It would also enhance the coherence of EU action and will contribute to eliminating the considerable financial burden that affects women and puts an economic burden on Member states economies. The study estimates that the economic annual cost of violence against women amounted to 228 billion euros.

It is a shocking figure if compares to the total budget of the Daphne III annual programme for 2013 is 18,5 million euros.

Having analysed the regulatory options, this study concludes that improving the existing EU legal framework is challenging but feasible. According to the study, it could encompass a combination of legislative and non-legislative measures.

Drawing on this assessment study, the EP report "Combating Violence against Women" of MEP Parvanova requests the Commission to present an EU-wide Strategy and an Action Plan to combat violence against women. It also calls on the Commission to promote national ratifications and launch the procedure for the accession of the EU to the Istanbul Convention on violence against women. It urges the Commission to establish an EU Year to End Violence against Women.

Finally, the report asks the Council to activate the passerelle clause, by adopting a unanimous decision identifying gender based violence (including FGM) as an area of crime listed in Article 83(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The European Women’s Lobby very much welcome the initiative and the report of Ms. Parvanova. A modern European Union needs the eradication of all forms of male violence against women. The fight against all forms of violence against women has to be intrinsically linked to the commitment made by the European Union and all its Member States to achieve gender equality and promote women’s rights, a fundamental and founding value of the EU. The EWL position paper on violence against women can be read following this link.

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Loud and United to end violence against women and girls, European Women’s Lobby Conference, 6 December 2017, Brussels.

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