In the EU, one in three women is a victim of gender-based violence. 55% of women have been victims of sexual harassment in the last year. And 99% of women have experienced harassment in the street.

S&D Group spokeswoman on women’s rights and gender equality Marie Arena MEP stressed:

“It is unbelievable that so many women are still confronted with violence every day.

“We welcome the fact that the European Commission published a roadmap in October 2015 on the possible EU accession to the Istanbul Convention (the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence) as a first concrete step. We call on EU member states which have not yet ratified the Istanbul Convention, to do so as quickly as possible.

“Nevertheless, this is not enough. We have relentlessly asked for a European year to END violence against women to raise awareness of this dramatic problem.

“We want the EU to establish a comprehensive legislative framework that tackles violence: from prevention to penalties and ensuring that international law protects women from violence.

“Over half of respondents (59%) to a Eurobarometer survey published earlier this year think that violence against women is the gender-equality issue that should be dealt with most urgently. That’s why we must deliver now!”

The chair of the European Parliament’s women’s rights and gender equality committee, S&D Euro MP Iratxe García Pérez, added:

“Not just in the EU, but also in our external relations, we need to ensure that all forms of violence against women and girls are eradicated. That is why we support Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals that includes a specific target on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls. This target must be reached to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. We will back the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security, Federica Mogherini, on her external relations Gender Action Plan for 2016-2020, which prioritises violence against women and girls.”

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