International Symposium:

29.03.2017 - 29.03.2017

Location: Brüssel


As both a consequence and a cause of asymmetries in gender dynamics, gender-based violence is a breach of human rights and a savage form of oppression. Whilst a pressing issue for both sexes, the impact is exponentially greater upon women; since the age of fifteen, one in three women has suffered sexual or physical violence. This endemic problem is also a lethal one, with Psytel and the European Women’s Lobby stating that 50 women die every week from gender-based violence. Public perceptions on the issue are clear. Over half of Europeans believe that gender violence is the most urgent problem undermining women’s equality – a firm response from Europe’s institutions is urgently required. Since the 1990’s, broad legislative developments have taken place in an effort to address the problem at the international level. The Istanbul Convention, one of the most advanced conventions in criminal law, operates as the first legal instrument to protect individuals from violence and discrimination. It functions with a tripartite approach of prevention, protection and prosecution and has recently been signed by the Union, yet ratification to ensure proper implementation and accountability remains elusive in some European member states, raising issues of harmonization and shared standards. Furthermore, in 2011 the EU Commission adopted the EU Victims Directive, establishing a minimum of protection and rights for the victims of crime. The FRA and EIGE also play an important role in monitoring violence against women. 2017 has been dubbed a year of focused action against gender-based violence, with the Commission launching a programme to cement its commitment to eradicating all forms of violence against women and girls, and to reducing gender inequality. It is actively calling stakeholders at local, regional, and national levels and looking to address the funding gap; €4 million will be dedicated to supporting Member States in developing and implementing practical ways to combat violence against women. Another €6 million will be used to support transnational grassroots projects, for which civil society organisations will be encouraged to submit project proposals. The Daphne Programme (III) has now been replaced and incorporated within a broader Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020, focusing on children, young people, women and other high risk groups, such as migrants and refugees. And yet, despite the rhetoric of focused action, significant problems persist; the causes of domestic violence are complex and interrelated – often intertwined with structural poverty and economic interdependency. Underreporting and data collection are also some of the most pressing outstanding issues; the vast majority of incidents go undetected, with only a third of the most serious reported to the police. Improved data collection will not only assist the development of comprehensive legislation at national and EU level, but also allow professionals to adapt and reinforce support systems for victims. At present, the EU policy addressing violence against women is based on Council conclusions, resolutions of the Parliament, and Commission strategies. However, none of these documents are a legal instrument which bind the Member States; has the time come for a specific Directive? This timely International Symposium will analyse the existing challenges in shaping a truly comprehensive strategy for tackling gender-based violence in the European Union. The Symposium will examine the role of organisations at the local, national and supranational level, in moving to eliminate all forms of domestic and gender-based violence. The Symposium will also support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking and topical debate with local and regional practitioners and policymakers at EU level.

Submitted by egera-admin on 31.01.2017 - 12:50 pm

< Back to overview