EWL News

Seven Emergency Motions adopted by EWL Members in 2017

[Brussels, 5 July 2017] On 9-10 June 2017, EWL members adopted seven Emergency Motions at our annual General Assembly. These motions, put forward to the General Assembly by National Coordinations or European Wide Members, call on EWL and its members to take actions and position on a number of issues that are of strong important to women’s rights. We adopted seven motions in June 2017 on many different questions, from sexual apartheid in sports to obstetric violence, pornography and more. Read all the motions below.

Paris 2024: Solidarity against sexual apartheid in sports

The Olympics are a privileged tool to educate young citizens - whatever their cultural and religious origin- to the respect of common rules based on universal values However, the Olympics are not providing such universal role models as IOC accepts the participation of two countries imposing sexual apartheid to women: Iran and Saudi Arabia, the two only countries banning women from their stadiums! Saudi Arabia even forbids sports to girls in public schools and has no infrastructures enabling women to practice sports.

Women and Social Security: An Urgent Call to Repeal the UK ‘Family Cap’ and ‘Rape Clause’

EWL denounces recent UK policy to limit certain tax credits and social security entitlements to a maximum of two children within a family, unless a third or further child is born as a result of rape or in other limited circumstances. These policies breach women’s right to privacy and adequate social security. They are particularly harmful in the context of Northern Ireland, where abortion is not accessible as a result of rape, carries a life sentence, and in which there is mandatory reporting to the police of complaints of sexual violence. The EWL calls on the UK to repeal the ‘family cap’, and to comply with its equality & human rights obligations in the development of social security policy.

Call for solidarity with abused Romanian women, farm workers in Ragusa, Italy

EWL denounces the lack of initiatives of Romanian and Italian governments to properly investigate the cases of abuse of Romanian women in Ragusa and lack of position about tolerating the situation of forced labour, trafficking and slavery on its territory. EWL demand the EU institutions, FEMM Committee to take seriously this issue. Romanian women farm workers in Ragusa face excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions, withholding of wages, intimidation and threats, suffer physical and sexual violence, isolation and abuse of vulnerability.

An EWL feminist definition of and vision for women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)

While women face a strong backlash on their sexual rights, through attacks on the right to abortion, contraception and sexuality education, feminist organisations also have to face another type of outbreak: the normalisation of vision where pornography, prostitution and surrogacy are promoted as sexual freedoms. Frontline and feminist NGOs see the impact of the harms of prostitution, pornography and surrogacy on women and girls, both at individual and collective levels, in terms of male violence and reduction of women’s sexual autonomy. It is politically and strategically urgent for the EWL to define SRHR from a feminist perspective, so that they do not include the use of women’s body, but promote respect, equality, autonomy and dignity.

Task Force against pornography

In February 2017, the world’s biggest pornsite, Pornhub, launched an online sex education service. The new campaign is the latest attempt by the porn industry to reach new arenas and younger target groups. Extensive scientific research reveals the rampant increase of violence in pornography, and that exposure to porn inspires to and normalizes male violence against women.

Against Europe Normalising prostitution for migrant and refugee women

All feminist and human rights NGOs to oppose the discourse promoting prostitution as an acceptable “occupation” for migrant/refugee women. All civil society concerned with migrants’ rights to engage in political analysis of prostitution and to denounce it as VAWG. All EU institutions to adhere to the EP resolution 2013/2103(INI) that “Condemns any policy attempt or discourse based on the notion that prostitution can be a solution for migrant women in Europe”.

Obstetric Violence in the Czech Republic

During the provision of childbirth care in the Czech Republic many women face obstetric violence. Probably up to 25,000 women per annum experience a perineum cut that has no medical justification. Women are often treated with drugs and subject to other interventions without informed and free consent. Separation of babies from their mothers is still the norm in many maternity hospitals. Data on the quality of care provided is not publicly available. Competencies are denied to community midwives. There are no midwifery unit led centres in the Czech Republic.

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Loud and United to end violence against women and girls, European Women’s Lobby Conference, 6 December 2017, Brussels.

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