[Brussels, 04 April 2012] On 28 March, the European Disability Forum (EDF) organised a conference in the European Parliament to raise political awareness on violence against women and girls with disabilities, and call for concrete and urgent EU action to end this unacceptable phenomenon.
Hosted by Iratxe García Pérez, MEP, the event gathered decision-makers and representatives of NGOs, EU institutions and UN agencies, who all highlighted the need to address violence against women with disabilities as a priority at international, European and national levels. You can read a full detailed report of the event on EDF’s website.
The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) was invited to present its European perspective on violence against women in general and warmly welcomed the initiative of EDF (a European-wide member of the EWL); indeed violence against women is the priority number one of EWL membership, as it is crucial to recognise the diversity of needs of all women in any policy, looking at their different situations and conditions.
Using the opportunity of this European event, the EWL first alerted on the pervasiveness of violence against women in the EU, and on the urgency to act because of a growing global backlash, both political and economical, against women’s rights and equality between women and men. Then, looking at the situation in Europe, where women are not equally protected, a key question arose at a time of fundamental financial choices to be made: can we afford not to end violence against women?
The EWL made four concrete recommendations to the EU and its Member States:
- Develop a comprehensive EU strategy, with legally-binding instruments to establish a common definition of violence against women based on international human rights instruments, for all EU Member States.
- Address the needs and interests of women and girls with disabilities in all aspects of the action, that is through the 6 Ps: Policy, Prevention, Protection, service Provision, Prosecution and Partnership.
- Guarantee funding for women’s organizations and services providers working to support women, including women with disabilities, and to end violence against women at local, national and European level.
- Make 2015 the EU Year to End Violence against Women in order to foster long-term EU campaigning to end violence against women.
The EWL called on all participants of EDF conference to be actively supportive of this last recommendation by signing up to the call of the European Coalition for an EU Year to End Violence against Women. Click here to find out more and join the Coalition too!