[Brussels, 28 November 2013] To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women, the European Women’s Lobby launched on the 25th November a video-clip to speak out and draw attention to the fact that rape needs to be seriously addressed by the authorities in terms of access to justice, prevention and support to victims. As the video illustrates, the Istanbul Convention is a tool for change!
Please, share this video in your social networks! #actagainstrape2013 #IstanbulConvention @europeanwomen @CoE.
The EWL also issued a press release (that can be downloaded here) to draw attention on the fact that rape continues to be one of the most devastating forms of gender-based violence, yet it is too often a taboo subject and thus remains shrouded in silence.
On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, 10 December, the EWL will held an event "Promote Human rights! Act against rape!" at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Find more information following this link
Events at country level
The EWL and all its member organisations request an adequate implementation of the Istanbul Convention by all Member States, as a concrete tool to end violence against women, and specifically rape and will serve to make substantial change towards more effective gender equality.
This week, the EWL member organisations have also held the events under the slogan: Act against rape! Use the Istanbul Convention!: in Croatia, Denmark, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal and Sweden
On the 25th November, four events have been organised to mark the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:
In Croatia: The Center for Women War Victims, ROSA organised the event together with the Parliamentary Committee for Gender Equality at the Croatian Parliament. 60 people attended the event, including several journalists. 19 speakers discussed on the following topics: how Croatian legislation is complaying with the CoE Convention, particularly criminal offences against sexual freedom in the new Penal Code; the process of signing and ratifying of the Istambul Convention; on EWL and CoE action in 33 states, and EWL Barometer on Rape 2013 in 32 countries; the project of the Minstry of Defence in cooperation with UNDP in Croatia, on protection of war rape survivors in Croatia; the situation and needs of women rape survivors; on existing practices in court cases of rape; and finally, the analysis on court cases of rape in marriage; presentation of the NGO campaigns such as I SIGN aimed the supporting of the process of ratification and implementation of Istambul Convention.
In Denmark: The Women’s Council together with the Women’s Museum organised a public meeting in Aarhus that was focused on sexual violence against women with a focus on counseling, campaigns and prevention. 50 people attended and the speakers were: Ulla Thornemann from the Danish Everyday Sexism project (http://everydaysexism.com/), Stine Schou Kvistgaard from ‘Center of rapevictims’ and Susanne from the Joan Sisters, an NGO that helps and supports victims of rape an domestic abuse.
In Lithuania, the Women’s Issues Information Centre organised a a half day seminar in Vilnius under the slogan "Seksualinio smurto prieš moteris kriminalizavimas. Stambulo konvencija".
In Sweden: The Swedish Women’s Lobby held a talk about rape. The event started with a screening of the short film “Porn Damaged” by Roxane von Gerber Hedayat and Moa Kjellstrand. This was followed by a panel discussion where very constructive discussions took place regarding rape culture and how we can improve the legal system in Sweden. The Istanbul Convention was promoted as a very important tool for Sweden as the country would have to introduce a legal definition based on the lack of consent, if the Convention is ratified. About 130 people attended the event. In this link you can download the press release in Swedish.
On the 26th November in Malta, the Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations (MCWO) organised a seminar which was be held at Europa House in St Paul’s Street Valletta. The Event was be opened by the Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer affairs and Civil Liberties and the Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity will do the closing address. Experts, representatives of civil society, practitioners and policy makers will participate in the seminar. The event has had a wide media coverage as it can be seen here.
On the 27 of November, in Portugal, Association of Women against Violence (AMCV) held an event at the auditory of the Portuguese Parliament with the support of the Commission for Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees. The event was opened by the Fernando Negrão, from the Commission of Constitutional Affairs, Rights and Liberties and by Margarida Medina Martins from the Association of Women against Violence (AMCV). Helena
Gonçalves participated in representation of the Procuradora Geral da República. Different NGOs brought the perspective from Women organsiations. Finally, the event was closed by José Mendes Bota, General Rapporteur on Violence against Women of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Download the Brochure and the Press Release (in Portuguese).
All the information the events next week in Czech Republic, Cyprus, Finland, Romania, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Turkey, Scotland (UK) and Ukraine can be found in the dedicated section of the EWL website.