We believe gender equality must play a key role in creating lasting solutions to global challenges – whether advancing peace and security, reducing poverty in developing countries, preparing for jobs of the future or fighting for victims’ rights.
One of VSE’s 2020 priorities is addressing violence against women through the gender equality action plan, which includes activities for the prevention of violence against women and the protection of and assistance to victims.
On Tuesday, November 12, Victim Support Europe participated in a workshop organised by the European Commission ‘Towards the post-2019 gender equality strategy’.
Here are our 11 takeaways from the meeting:
1. Funding: Existing programs should be more accessible for civil society organisations; need for more money and core-funding instead of project-funding;
2. Support for victims of gender-based violence and access to justice: Improvement of support services; the standards established by the EU Victims` Directive should be put into practice; focus on crimes with a gender dimension; access to the Istanbul Convention;
3. Definition: The term “gender-based violence” should be interpreted in a broader sense and also include, for instance, violence against intersexual persons; define what is indicated as gender-based violence (e.g. include reproductive violence);
4. Prevention: To hinder gender-based violence on an early stage, the focus should be put on prevention, e.g. within the educational system;
5. Protection of the “European way of life”: Free from violence (not excluding those from other parts of the world or with a non-European background);
6. Data collection: In order to gather statistics, data should be collected in a human rights-sensitive manner, e.g. on numbers of women/persons with different ethnic backgrounds who fall victims of gender-based violence; measures should be put in place in order to prevent misuse of the data.
7. Guidance: Governments/authorities should be sensitised on the issue of gender-based violence and trained on how to provide good services and support to women/persons who experienced gender-based violence.
8. Prevent misuse: Measures should be taken to hinder people who hold radical political views to make use of the issue of violence against women for their purpose of putting men with migrant background in a wrong light.
9. Health care: Ensure that victims of gender-based violence receive health care; sensitise professionals from the health care-systems on this issue; prevention of discrimination against ethnic minorities in the health care-system.
10. Safe labour: Measures to ensure safe workplaces for women/persons in order to prevent any gender-based violence in this context.
11. Prostitution: Develop a position on how to prevent sex-workers from experiencing gender-based violence.