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Ending the "violence that affects us precisely because we are women"


05 Apr 2011


Social Europe & Jobs

Welcoming the European Parliament's overwhelming backing of her report on an EU policy framework to fight violence against women, GUE/NGL MEP Eva-Britt Svensson said the text's demands reflected "a strong commitment to combating violence against women".

"We must put an end to gender based violence. Rape and other sexual violence against women should be recognised as a crime throughout the EU, and its perpetrators prosecuted automatically. A European directive against violence against women would make the EU much safer for all citizens" said the Chair of Parliament's Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee.

"The Commission's responses to Parliament's demands unfortunately remain unclear, and it seems that they prefer a piece-meal approach rather than a coherent strategy."They have to start listening to citizens and the Parliament - we demand more, we demand an EU directive and a coherent plan encompassing all forms of gender-based violence"


The EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights state that European societies should be characterized by gender equality. "As long as women suffer from gender-based violence - just because they are women - we cannot say our societies are equal. Women's lives and various life choices are often restricted by force or by awareness of the violence they may face because of their gender."


Violence against women is escalating all over the world. 20-25% of all women in Europe have experienced physical acts of violence at least once during their adult lives, and more than one-tenth have suffered sexual violence involving the use of force. In last night's debate on the report, Svensson spoke frankly of the situations faced by women, mothers, girls and children who are beaten, forced to flee their homes, stalked, murdered, raped, sexually harassed and genitally mutilated.


"It is these forms of violence this strategy report is about and I hope and believe that we all agree that now we must take real steps to combat this violence."

GUE/NGL Press Contact:
David Lundy 0032485505812
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group