“On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, I call on all political leaders to take action to end female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation causes serious physical and mental harm and is a violation of the most basic human rights of women and girls."
Statement by Ms Zita Gurmai (Hungary, SOC), General Rapporteur on Violence against women and coordinator of the Network, on the occasion of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. Read the whole thread here.
15 March – CSW65 side-event – Violence against women in the public and private spheres: measure it to end it On 15 March, the Sub-Committee on Gender Equality and the Parliamentary Network Women Free from Violence will be associated with Switzerland for a side event at the 65th session of the Commission for the Status of Women, the United Nations’ body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The theme of the online event is “Violence against women in the public and private spheres: measure it to end it”. Emphasis will be put on the importance of data collection and research in combating violence against women. After introductions by the PACE General Rapporteur on Violence against Women and the Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs, a panel of ministers and high-level representatives will discuss challenges and share good practices in data collection related to violence against women. Petra Bayr, President of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, will moderate the event. A livestream will be available on the Parliamentary Network Women Free from Violence Facebook page. 15 March 2021, 16:30-17:45 (CET) Members of the Network and the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination should register to participate in the event and will receive a KUDO link to join the meeting remotely. Please contact email@example.com before 10th of March. Link to the public registration.
10 November – webinar on violence against women in sport The Network’s webinar on “Preventing and combating violence against women in sport” took place on 10 November 2020 in the framework of the preparation of a report by Mr Killion Munyama (EPP, Network member for Poland) on “The fight for a level playing field – ending discrimination against women in the world of sport”. The webinar provided an important platform of discussion to raise awareness on the issue of violence against women in sport. Members of the Network as well as the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination were able to take the floor to ask questions, thank the panellists and make propositions for progress. Questions were also taken from viewers following the live streaming of the event on Facebook.
The video recording is available on PACE’s YouTube channel in English and French.
14 December – online meeting of the Network The Network’s online meeting was held on 14 December 2020 and featured a statement by the General Rapporteur on Violence against Women, a presentation of the Generation Equality Forum 2021, a peer-to-peer exchange on the practical applications of the revised Handbook for parliamentarians on the Istanbul Convention, as well as a hearing on Good practices implemented during the 2nd wave of Covid-19 to tackle violence against women.
While taking stock of the current situation regarding the Istanbul Convention and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on violence against women and domestic violence, referred to by UN Women as the “shadow pandemic”, the meeting allowed several members of the Network to share their experiences of their concrete role in ensuring and promoting the implementation and monitoring process of the Istanbul Convention at the national level. Examples were given of parliamentary work (in France, Albania, Iceland and Monaco) relating to the application of specific articles of the convention, as well as practical ways to enhance the implication of parliamentarians in combating violence against women.
International Day for the elimination of violence against women and 16 days of activism
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women and the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, members of the Network were active in showing their commitment to ending violence against women.
This year’s theme, "Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!", was reflected in several activities online and in Strasbourg, as well as in parliaments in Austria, Monaco and Greece. A photo album is available on the Network’s Facebook page.
Statements were issued by Petra Bayr (Austria, SOC), Chair of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination and Evelyn Regner, Chair of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament (FEMM), and by Zita Gurmai (Hungary, SOC), General Rapporteur on Violence against Women, with PACE President Rik Daems, highlighting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on violence against women and the need to make progress to combat this scourge. Read the statements here and here.
On social media, parliamentarians shared their commitment to tackling gender-based violence through a series of “postcards” shared on Twitter and Facebook, including quotes from the Istanbul Convention and showing the support of parliamentarians and honoured guests, including Council of Europe’s Secretary General, Marija Pejčinović Burić, PACE President Rik Daems, as well as the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner, Dunja Mijatović, and others. All the postcards are available on the Network’s Facebook page.
Stay tuned on the Network’s Facebook page as well as @PACE_Equality on Twitter for the next social media campaigns and latest news on gender-based violence.
Check out our latest publication – a brochure about the aims and activities of the Parliamentary Network Women Free from Violence, including the latest topics addressed by members of the Network in recent hearings and webinars. Feel free to use it and spread the word about the Network!
The revised Handbook for parliamentarians is now available in Dutch. The Handbook is an important practical tool for parliamentarians to combat violence against women by enhancing their capacities with regards to the implementation and monitoring of the Istanbul Convention at the national level. The Handbook is also available in English, French, German, Italian and Russian on the Network’s website.
If the Handbook doesn’t yet exist in your language, we’re open to proposals for translation and can assist in managing the publication. Our aim is to enable this indispensable practical tool to be widely used in Europe and beyond. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any enquiries.
The Council of Europe Expert Group on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) has published its first baseline evaluation reports on the implementation of the Istanbul Convention for Andorra, Spain and Malta.
The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe adopted a Recommendation in support of the Istanbul Convention, reaffirming their commitment to the goals of the convention and urging Council of Europe member states and the European Union to ratify it.
The European Parliament held two plenary debates on women’s rights on 25 November 2020, with the participation of Commissioner Helena Dalli. Among topics discussed, the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention was high on the agenda. The accession is pending a decision of the Court of Justice, which is expected in the second quarter of 2021. MEPs also condemned the ruling of the Polish Constitutional Court regarding the limitation of abortion rights.
Check out the new Toolkit for local authorities and civil society organisations on the "Participation of young women and girls from disadvantaged groups in political and public decision-making processes at local level", released as part of the Council of Europe project “Supporting the transparency, inclusiveness and integrity of electoral practice in Ukraine”.
The European Institute for Gender Equality has published a report on “Intimate partner violence and witness intervention: what are the deciding factors?”. The video of the Gender Equality Index Conference 2020 is also now available online.