This year's international day of eliminating violence against women coincides with the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Beijing Platform for Action, where for the first time, after centuries of silence, it was established that violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relationships between women and men, one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are are forced into a subordinate position, an obstacle to achieving the objectives of equality, development and peace, as well as a violation of women's human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Twenty years later, and the FRA finds in the biggest ever EU-wide survey that 1 in 3 women in the EU has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15, and that half of all women in the EU avoid certain situations or places for fear of being assaulted.
Indeed every day in the EU millions of women are terrorised by systemic male violence enacted in the service of patriarchal control. Women are terrorised everywhere and at all times, by someone they love in their own home, in the family, in the street, on public transport, in school, at work, by religion, by culture, by tradition, by the State, in conflict. The terror of patriarchal violence is the key security challenge that undermines every woman's ability to fully enjoy all human rights on a basis of equality with men.
Now more than ever, in today's climate of fear and hatred, the Greens/EFA call on the EU to establish violence against women and gender-based violence as a form of gender discrimination, by swiftly proposing a relevant legislative initiative on combating violence against women in the EU; and to recognise as the EUs key human security priority the elimination of violence against women and patriarchal terrorism. We urge the EU institutions, before calling for more measures to ensure society's collective security, to first make sure that each and every woman in the EU fully enjoys her right to safety, dignity, and individual security.