EU: zero tolerance for violence against women

Plenary session Week 37 2017 in Strasbourg - EU accession to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

“Today we say loud and clear stop violence against women. We are talking about domestic violence, sexual abuse, rape, honour killing, Female Genital Mutilation, child marriage, all violence that affect women and girls. It is time to move from words to action! All Member states must ratify the Istanbul Convention and adopt a zero tolerance policy against gender based violence. I will continue to be committed to keep violence against women and girls on top of the EU agenda”, said co-rapporteur Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP, SV).

The EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention will provide a coherent European legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women and gender-based violence.

Members of the European Parliament welcome the signing of the EU accession of the Istanbul Convention on 13 June 2017 in the interim report adopted on Tuesday by 489 votes to 114 and 69 abstentions. They make the following call for action:
urge Member States to speed up negotiations on the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention;
EP should be fully engaged in the monitoring process of the Istanbul Convention following the EU’s accession;
Member States should allocate adequate financial and human resources to prevent and combat violence against women and gender-based violence;
appropriate training, procedures and guidelines for all professionals dealing with the victims of all acts of violence should be available;
promote a change in attitudes and behaviours and shifting the guilt from victims to perpetrators;
ask the Commission to initiate, without delay or postponement, a constructive dialogue with the Council and Member States, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, so as to address reservations, objections and concerns expressed by Member States
to combat sexism and stereotyped gender roles – promoting gender-neutral language and address the key role of media and advertising.

The denial of sexual and reproductive health and rights services, including safe and legal abortion, is a form of violence against women and girls, says the text. MEPs reiterate that women and girls must have control over their bodies.
The Istanbul Convention ensures that culture, custom, religion, tradition or so-called “honour” cannot be a justification of any acts of violence against women. MEPs call on Member States to adopt measures to address new forms gender based violence on the internet and on social media, including sex-extortion, grooming, voyeurism and revenge pornography, and protect victims, who experience serious trauma leading sometimes even to suicide.
Finally, MEPs stress that the EU’s accession will provide a coherent European legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women and will bring better monitoring, interpretation and implementation of EU laws, programmes, funds and better data collection.


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