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EU must use momentum of new Directive to combat all forms of gender based violence

Tomorrow, the European Commission is expected to present its proposal for a Gender Based Violence Directive. This proposal will mark a huge step forward in the efforts to eradicate gender based violence. The Greens/EFA have long called for the Commission to put forward a directive that puts an end to all forms of gender based violence. 

Dr. Sylwia Spurek MEP, Vice Chair of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, comments:

“With this Directive, the EU shows the world that women's rights are human rights, and that all women and girls across Europe have the right to live free from gender based violence. It is crucial that we protect and strengthen the rights of survivors of gender based violence. This proposal signals to Member States that they need to step up to the plate and commit to protect more women from becoming victims. 

“And even though this proposal can and should be celebrated, we cannot forget the horrors of the war that is being waged in Ukraine. Tomorrow, on International Women's Day, we will hear stories from Ukrainian women with whom we stand shoulder to shoulder.”

Diana Riba i Giner MEP, Greens/EFA Coordinator of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, comments;

“We expect the Commission's historic proposal to be a very good starting point. We have long called for all forms of gender based violence to be criminalised across the EU, this includes femicide, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, cyber violence, rape, forced marriages, and denial of access to safe and legal abortion which are systemic forms of violence that any woman or girl is at risk of. 

“This past week, people fleeing Ukraine have found a safe haven in the EU. By opening our borders and our homes to those seeking protection, which we have called for during previous humanitarian crises, we are responding to the crisis with humanity. With the possibility of more than five million refugees fleeing Putin’s war, we must remember that some of those fleeing will also be victims of gender based violence. We call on the Commission to ensure that survivors of gender based violence receive essential support, including life saving sexual and reproductive health services.”

According to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights one in 10 women has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 15, and one in 20 has been raped. Just over one in five women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence from either a current or previous partner, and just over one in 10 women indicates that they have experienced some form of sexual violence by an adult before they were 15 years old.

Gender based violence also affects LGBTIQ+ people on the grounds of gender, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. Gender norms based on patriarchal stereotypes contribute to the discrimination and violence against anyone who doesn’t conform to them. Trans and non-binary people face drastic amounts of violence. 

Greens/EFA Key demands for the Gender Based Violence directive


Responsible MEPs

Diana Riba i Giner
Diana Riba i Giner
EFA President and first Vice President of the Greens/EFA Group
Sylwia Spurek
Sylwia Spurek

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