Press releases

International Women’s Day 2013: Concrete action needed by the EU to end violence against women

“We cannot afford not to end violence against women, both in terms of financial sustainability, but also in terms of global democracy, peace and security for all human beings”
Viviane Teitelbaum, EWL President

Brussels, 07 March 2013 – On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) recalls the need for concrete action from the European Union (EU) to end violence against women. We demand the establishment of an EU Year to End Violence against Women in 2015.

Violence against women (VAW) is the most pervasive violation of women’s rights, affecting approximately 45% of all women in Europe and the world. In Europe, seven women die every day from male domestic violence and an average of 25% of women experience violence at the hands of their partner or ex-partner. The current economic and financial crisis has had disastrous effects on the fight against violence against women - recent cuts in public spending have undermined services providing shelter for women fleeing male violence Europe-wide. In Europe today, in order to comply with the Council of Europe minimum standards, an additional 54,000 more shelter places are needed. Due to austerity measures in the UK more than 50% of women’s organisations have been forced to reduce their service provision and the Spanish budget on male violence has been cut by more than 20%.

“Ending violence against women is not a luxury for times of growth; it is even more crucial in times of crisis.”
EWL Secretary General Cécile Gréboval

2015: A European Year to End Violence against Women

The current context is alarming for women’s rights and the EU must go from supportive words to concrete action. Violence against women is currently being discussed at the 57th United Nation Convention on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York where representatives from hundreds of countries and women’s organisations are working to arrive at meaningful conclusions that will help put an end violence against women. On the 14th February last, EWL and our members in Europe joined the worldwide initiative One Billion Rising, to say no to violence against women and to express our opposition to this violation of women’s rights. The European Union cannot fall behind and bury its head in the sand: violence against women is an obstacle to equality, and equality between women and men is a core value of the EU. (Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union, article 23)

The EWL is asking for the establishment of a European Year to End Violence against Women in 2015. By establishing such a strong and significant action, the EU could lead the charge in raising awareness on violence against women, creating concrete measures to halt the perpetuation of violence against women and girls and become a world leader in creating a Europe safe for all of its residents. To turn rhetoric into reality, we need words and deeds. 2015 as the European year of Ending Violence against Women is just such a deed.

More information

For further information, please contact: Anna Bates, EWL Communications and Press Officer, Tel: (32), or,

Note to editors:
The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest umbrella organization of women’s association in the European Union (EU), working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL membership extends to organisations in all 27 EU Member States and three candidates countries, as well as to 20 European-wide organisations, representing a total of more than 2000 associations.

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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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