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International Women's Day - Towards true gender equality

Women's rights/Equal opportunities 07-03-2014 - 13:47 / Updated: 07-03-2014 - 16:10

Gender equality is one of the Parliament’s key values. Violence against women is a form of gender-based discrimination and one of the most sensitive gender inequality issues. To address this issue and find possible solutions, the theme of this year's International Women's Day, which is held every year on 8 March, is preventing violence against women. (Read more: Preventing violence against women – a challenge for all)

Violence has touched the lives of almost half of all women in Europe. Not only does this damage people and their families, but it also has a significant economic cost of €228 billion a year in Europe. Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, the European Parliament has called for a common EU strategy to tackle violence against women. We discussed it with report author Antonyia Parvanova, a Bulgarian member of the ALDE group. (Read more: Antonyia Parvanova: “Almost half of European women has experienced violence at one point” )

Legal measures to protect the victims of stalking, harassment and gender-based violence will be extended to the whole of the EU, thanks to new rules approved by MEPs on 22 May. This is necessary as currently legal measures issued in one country often fail to protect victims in another country, especially women and children escaping domestic violence. We talked to Antonio López-Istúriz White and Antonyia Parvanova, the two MEPs responsible for steering the legislation through Parliament. (Read more: MEPs vote to extend protection for victims of violence to the whole of the EU)

Preventing violence against women is the theme of this year's International Women's Day held on 8 March. Not only is violence a violation of human rights, but it also amounts to gender-based discrimination that denies women the opportunity to fully participate in economic, social, political and cultural life. Parliament is organising several special events to call attention to this issue. (Read more: International Women’s Day: preventing violence against women)

How can female stereotypes be changed in European society? It was one of many questions during a Facebook chat with Mikael Gustafsson, chair of the women's rights committee, on Wednesday 5 March. The Swedish member of the GUE/NGL group took part in the chat on the occasion of International Women's Day. Facebook fans were also interested in finding out what member states can do to boost equality between men and women. (Read more: Mikael Gustafsson: "Violence against women is a reflection of gender inequality")

It seems you still have to be a wonder woman these days to climb the corporate ladder. Women make on average €8,000 a year less than men and few of them make it all the way to the top. The economic crisis has made the situation even worse. This year's International Women's Day on 8 March is dedicated to how women have been affected by the crisis. Find out more in our infographic. (Read more: Wonderful to be a woman? It still pays more to be a man)

REF. : 20140304TST37502
Ending violence against women and girls

Mikael Gustafsson, chair of the women's rights committee, fields questions and fresh ideas from campaigners seeking fruitful solutions to violence against women in Europe.

Reporter: Domestic violence

In Belgium, one in three women suffers an act of violence in her life. EuroparlTV went to meet some of the women trying to rebuild their lives (26 February 2013)

Flash mob to end violence against women

MEPs stepped out with author and activist Eve Ensler ahead of a debate and vote on combating violence against women and girls (4 February 2013)