Violence against women is endemic in the European Union.
Since the age of 15: one in three women has experienced sexual and/or physical violence, psychologically abusive behavior by an intimate partner and one in two (55%) have experienced sexual harassment.
In addition to causing severe damage to women, families and communities, the magnitude of the problem is reflected by its economic costs for the European Union, which are estimated to be a staggering 225,837,418,768 euro per year. It is a shameful stain on our societies that, even in 2016, we cannot guarantee the enjoyment of human rights for all women. This must stop. Girls and women have the right to fully participate in all aspects of our society, without being beaten, harassed, raped, stalked or otherwise held back by other forms of violence.
Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality has taken the initiative to dedicate 2017 to combating violence against women. But it requires the dedication of all of us: Member State national and local authorities, International Organisations, civil society organisations, academia, businesses, trade unions, police, health professionals, social care professionals and all European men and women to fight to make violence against women a thing of the past. More than an awareness-raising campaign, this initiative will support and engage all stakeholders in combatting this problem. Commissioner Jourová invites all to join these focused actions to combat violence against women, as it will be a concerted effort.
On 24 November, the European Commission has released the results of a Eurobarometer survey on gender-based violence, which focuses in particular on awareness of and attitudes and perceptions towards the issue:
As part of the focused actions to combat violence against women in 2017, the Commission has set aside euro funds from the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme to support Member States in developing and implementing national practical and targeted information, awareness-raising and education activities, aimed at preventing and combating violence against women.
Funding under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme is also available through the Daphne strand, which provides €6 million annually to fund transnational grassroots projects run by NGOs, local authorities and other stakeholders.
Further information regarding upcoming calls for proposals can be found here.
Information regarding previously funded projects can be found here: Daphne Toolkit
Insights from Behavioural Sciences to prevent and combat violence against women with awareness-raising and education activities: literature review by the Joint Research Centre.
- EEAS page on human rights and democracy
- ECHO factsheet: GENDER: Different needs, adapted assistance
- Study on GBV in sport
- “Safe at home, safe at work” project
- Study on the gender dimension of trafficking
- Factsheets on violence against women by the European Institute for Gender Equality
Promoting gender equality is a core activity for the EU: equality between women and men is a fundamental EU value, an EU objective and a driver for economic growth. The Union shall aim to promote equality between men and women in all its activities.
The Commission’s 2010-2015 strategy for equality between women and men prioritized five key areas for action:· equal economic independence for women and men;· equal pay for work of equal value;· equality in decision-making;· dignity, integrity and ending gender-based violence; and· promoting gender equality beyond the EU.
Therefore, as set out in its 2016 work programme, the Commission will continue its practical work to promote gender equality. Action will continue with a focus on all the five priority areas. Efforts are required of all actors if we are to achieve real equality between women and men in all spheres of life within the EU and elsewhere.
This “Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019” is a reference framework for increased effort at all levels, be they European, national, regional or local. It continues to corroborate the 2011-2020 European Pact for gender equality.
Here you can see Direct Link to Full 27-Page 2015 European Commission Publication.
- improve the quality and relevance of skills formation
- make skills more visible and comparable
- improve skills intelligence and information for better career choices
- A Skills Guarantee to help low-skilled adults acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills and progress towards an upper secondary qualification.
- A review of the European Qualifications Framework and the related annexes for a better understanding of qualifications and to make better use of all available skills in the European labour market.
- The ‘Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition’ to support co-operation among education, employment and industry stakeholders.
- The ‘Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills’ to improve skills intelligence and address skills shortages in specific economic sectors.
University Women of Europe is trying to raise the issue of parity and stereotyping in skills at the European Women’s Lobby.
- A ‘Skills Profile Tool Kit for Third Country Nationals’to support early identification and profiling of skills and qualifications of asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants.
- A revision of the Europass Framework, offering people better and easier-to-use tools to present their skills and get useful real-time information on skills needs and trends which can help with career and learning choices.
- Making Vocational Education and Training (VET) a first choice by enhancing opportunities for VET learners to undertake a work based learning experience and promoting greater visibility of good labour market outcomes of VET.
- A review of the Recommendation on Key Competences to help more people acquire the core set of skills necessary to work and live in the 21st century with a special focus on promoting entrepreneurial and innovation-oriented mind-sets and skills.
On 2 November, the European Commission marks European Equal Pay Day 2015. As there is a gender pay gap of 16.3% in the EU, from now on women symbolically stop earning for the rest of the year, while men will continue to earn money until 31 December.
Ahead of this occasion, First Vice-President Timmermans, Commissioner Thyssen and Commissioner Jourová made a statement:
“Equality between men and women is one of the fundamental values of the European Union, but this day reminds us that it is not one of its fundamental realities.
The pay gap between women and men is already unfair, unjustified and unacceptable in the short term. But in the long term, it accumulates throughout a woman’s career and results in an even more significant pension gap, with women’s pensions 39% lower than men’s.
The results of a Commission consultation published today on equality between women and men confirm that Europeans see the gender pay gap as the most urgent inequality to deal with.
Europe has laws in place on equal pay. But they are not sufficiently enforced on the ground by Member States. Last year we made a Recommendation to Member States to tackle the pay gap. We are supporting the Member States, local authorities and other stakeholders to help them make a difference on the ground.
But there has been little or no progress in recent years.
As well as guaranteeing equal pay for women on the labour market, we must give them the means to access the labour market for as long as men. Spending less time on the labour market exacerbates the pension pay gap. This is a question of both mind-sets and opportunities.
In our 2016 Work Programme we will take measures to address this challenge by helping working parents with children and those caring for dependent relatives to balance care and career. The new start for working parents and care givers will tackle the lack of affordable childcare, rigid working arrangements or absence of incentives for men to take more care responsibilities in their families.
At the current pace, the gender pay gap is declining so slowly that we will need to wait another 70 years to achieve equal pay – that’s not one generation, but two.
The pay gap is everyone’s business and everyone stands to gain from its elimination. It’s time to close the gap.”
28 country factsheets were released by European Comission for all EU Member States with figures on the gender pay gap and the overall gender earnings gap and an EU factsheet with the same information for the European Union: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/document/index_en.htm#pay;
An animated infographic explaining some of the reasons behind the gender pay gap can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/gender-equality/infographs/equal-pay-day-2015/equal-pay-day/index_en.html.