European Parliament marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Today, 25th November, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Statistics show that violence against women is a serious problem in the European Union. One in three women in the EU has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15, which equates to 62 million women. In addition, half of all women in the EU avoid certain situations or places for fear of being assaulted.

In light of this, MEPs questioned the EU Commission this week on the progress of the negotiations for the EU to sign and conclude the Istanbul Convention, the first legally binding international agreement on preventing and combating violence against women globally and currently the most comprehensive and ambitious international treaty to combat violence against women in all its forms.

A majority of European countries are in favour of signing the Convention, and yet negotiations have been very slow since the European Commission proposed the idea in March 2016.

Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution with an overwhelming majority calling for the EU to accede to the Istanbul Convention. In the same resolution, MEPs called on the European Commission to come forward with a new EU law to combat violence against women, and for the European Council to adopt a unanimous decision of identifying violence against women as an “area of crime” under Article 83 of the Treaties of the European Union.

The European Parliament in Brussels will also be participating in the UN’s global initiative, “Orange the world”, inviting women and men to wear orange to show their solidarity with women affected by domestic and sexual violence. The European Parliament building will be lit up in orange from the evening of 24 November until 25 November.