EWL abolitionist principles

Values and principles

The prostitution of women and girls constitutes a fundamental violation of women’s human rights and a serious form of male violence against women. The tolerance of the EU and its member states for the system of prostitution allow for men’s use of and control over women’s body and sexuality, and fuels trafficking in women for sexual exploitation. The persistence of systems of prostitution in EU member states demonstrates the failure at European level to reach gender equality and promote women’s rights.

Prostitution is a form of male violence against women:

  • Prostitution is not a question of ‘choice’ – What is ‘free choice’?
  • Prostitution is not a question of sexuality – there is nothing sexually new in prostitution!
  • Prostitution is about patriarchy: it is the ultimate way in which men control women’s bodies and sexuality, through an exchange of money or an abuse of unequal economic relations
  • Incest, rape, marital rape are outlawed thanks to women’s NGOs; the system of prostitution remains as the ultimate place for male domination, legitimised by a distorted representation of equality in commercial exchange – money exchange is all but an expression of equality!
  • Refusing prostitution is about setting a standard of human dignity for all women and girls around the world

There won’t be real equality as long as there is prostitution of some women by some men!

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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