[Brussels, 30 October 2019] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) Observatory experts on violence against women came together in Brussels on the 14 and 15 of October to discuss on key issues on VAWG and on the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention. Together we defined a workplan for the Observatory work in 2020; the year where we will be marking the 25th anniversary of the commitments adopted by the EU member States to end violence against women and girls in the framework of the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995.
At the meeting, we had the opportunity to welcome the new Observatory experts that joined us for a first mandate in September this year; to thank the commitment of those experts who engaged for a second mandate; and to remind gratefully the work of the experts whose mandate ended this year. Currently, the EWL Observatory on violence against women brings together a group of 39 experts from 32 European countries and seven international women’s organisations. Find here and below a list of the current experts and their short bios.
Together, we had the opportunity to mark our joint actions in the framework of the Campaign Loud and United to end violence against women and girls and to review recent developments at EU and international level, specially looking at the current opportunities of further action to address violence against women at EU level, announced by Ursula Von der Leyen and the mission of letter of Commissioner for Equality, Commissioner designate Helena Dalli.
Valentina Andrasek, EWL Observatory expert from Croatia, shared with us the analysis and the preliminary results of the mapping on the implementation of the Istanbul Convention, based on the answers provided by the Observatory experts on burning issues in the ratification/implementation of the provisions of the Convention and the work of women NGOs to promote it. On the basis of the remarkable work of Valentina and all the information provided, the EWL working groups defined a workplan for the next months in the next five areas:
• Campaigning for the ratification/implementation of the Istanbul Convention
• Ensuring Gender Sensitive Approach in Implementation in IC
• Child custody/visiting rights and revictimisation of survivors of intimate partner violence
• Feminist analysis of the reservation
• GREVIO monitoring and shadow reporting on the implementation of the Istanbul Convention
The EWL Observatory experts had also the opportunity to share key developments at national level. Johanna Nedjelová shared an analysis of the main political context in the Czeck Republic and outlines their main campaigning and advocacy actions to foster progress towards the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. Rugile Butkeviciute, shared their campaign for the transposition of the provisions of the Istanbul Convention in Lithuania when it comes to criminalisation of stalking in the context of intimate partner violence; aiming at paving the way for the ratification. Anna Nuotio highlighted the main outcomes of the first GREVIO baseline evaluation report in Finland, after the release of their report, and how women organisations are planning to use the recommendations to advocate for key changes in legislation and policies.
The meeting of the EWL Observatory on Violence Against Women happened in parallel with the first meeting of the EWL Taskforce on Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights, providing key opportunities for sharing synergies and network among the participants. Both meetings took place in the framework of the Week of action to end sexual exploitation, when we held a series of public and internal actions with partners of the campaign Brussels’ Call Together for a Europe Free from Prostitution.
Thanks to all of the Observatory on Violence against Women experts and the members of the Taskforce for their continued contribution and invaluable expertise that informs our work in advocating against and combatting all forms of male violence against women!