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Violence against women

Violence against women



On Tuesday, 29 March 2022, the FEMM Committee is exchanging views with Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, on the situation of women refugees from Ukraine. According to reports from UNHCR and the European Commission, more than 3.5 million refugees have so far fled the country, mainly women and children. The number of refugees is increasing every day. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to discuss what support the EU can provide to manage the arrival of the refugees in order to protect them from the risk of gender-based violence or sexual exploitation, but also how to ensure access to public services like healthcare or education for the children.

The United Nations defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life."

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women, also known as the Istanbul Convention, is the first legally binding international instrument on this issue. It establishes a comprehensive framework of measures for preventing such violence, supporting victims and punishing perpetrators. As of August 2021, it has been signed by all EU Member States, and ratified by 21.

The European Parliament first sounded the alarm about the problem of violence against women in a resolution of 11 June 1986. Since then, Parliament has played a particularly important role in the field, including through the work of its Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM).