Violence against women linked to gender inequality

The European commission must come forward with a law to 'combat' violence against women, says Mikael Gustafsson.

By Mikael Gustafsson MEP

12 Mar 2014

Every day, seven European women are murdered by men close to them. In addition, 45 per cent of all women in Europe have at some point been victims of violence and 10 per cent of sexual violence. The statistics are staggering. This year for international women's day we want to draw attention to this violence, which is a violation of human rights.

Violence against women is both a reason for, and a result of, gender inequality. It needs to be recognised and we need to deal with it according to its own internal logic. That is, where women are afraid of reporting the crime, where women have to hide, where the police and the judicial system are often unequipped to give the right help.

During this legislature we have adopted many important reports on women's rights. We should be proud, but there is a lot of work still to do. Two of the reports I feel the most for are the Svensson and Parvanova reports asking the commission to act on violence against women.

We need minimum standards for how to deal with these crimes as they are gender based, often hidden and they kill. Women's shelters need a stable economy and autonomy. We need special training for police forces and the judicial system to detect, help, combat and prevent. 

We need the commission to come forward with a law. This is the second time we have asked, and we will not stop.