Main menu (press 'Enter')
Access to page content (press 'Enter')
Direct access to list of other websites (press 'Enter')
top story icon IWD2016
Top story :

International Women's Day 2016 - Women refugees in the EU

Women's rights/Equal opportunities / Immigration / Asylum policy 04-03-2016 - 15:57 / Updated: 20-02-2017 - 16:15

All refugees face great hardship but among the most vulnerable of those travelling to the EU in search of protection from war, human rights abuses and deprivation are women and girls. Because of their gender, they are often the victim of violence and discrimination. The European Parliament is dedicating this year's International Women's Day on 8 March to them in order to raise awareness of their situation. (Read more: The female face of the refugee crisis )

A reform of EU migration and asylum policies and procedures needs to include gender-sensitive measures to ensure the safety of women seeking asylum, many of whom travel with young children and other dependents, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Tuesday. (Read more: MEPs call for gender-sensitivity in asylum policy)

Parliament has dedicated this year's International Women's Day to women refugees in the EU. We talked to MEP Mary Honeyball, a UK member of the S&D group, and French photographer Marie Dorigny to get their views on their situation as they are both experts on it. Honeyball has written a report on women refugees, which MEPs vote on in plenary on 8 March, while Dorigny travelled to Greece, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Germany to create a reportage on women refugees for Parliament. (Read more: Refugees: "There is a real need to protect women and children")

International Women’s Day is held every year on 8 March. This year Parliament has selected women refugees as its theme and it also features on the plenary agenda this week. On Tuesday MEPs debate and vote on a report on women refugees, drafted by Mary Honeyball (S&D, UK). MEPs debate the current refugee crisis with Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for refugees, focussing on the situation of women. Follow the plenary session live online. (Read more: The European Parliament pays tribute to International Women's Day)

Opening an extraordinary session with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on the occasion of International Women's Day, Parliament’s President Martin Schulz highlighted Parliament's continuous efforts to combat all forms of violence against women, be it in their home countries, when fleeing or upon arrival in the EU. Mr Grandi called on the EU to reaffirm its values and to reject “blanket” return policies without stipulating safeguard clauses. (Read more: "Moment of truth to reaffirm EU values" urges UN High Commissioner for Refugees)

Women and girls fleeing war and conflicts face violence at all stages of their odyssey to the EU: be it in their home country, during their journey to a safe haven, or once they are in Europe. European Parliament dedicates this year's International Women’s Day to their particular situation. On 8 March, MEPs debate and vote on a report urging member states to adopt EU-wide measures to better meet the needs of women refugees. (Read more: Asylum policy: meeting women's needs )

Award-winning French photojournalist Marie Dorigny travelled to Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Germany from December 2015 to January 2016 at the request of the EP seeking to capture on film the plight of women refugees ahead of this year's International Women's Day. Her photos can be seen in Parliament's visitors centre in Brussels until 1 June as well as in information offices around the EU. Other related activities are also organised in many European capitals. (Read more: Escape to Europe: a journey in images)

REF. : 20160226TST16212
Inside the Calais refugee camps: the hardships of many women

EPTV investigates efforts to bring healthcare and psychological support to women refugees in the Calais camps

Audiovisual materials
More on International Women's Day
Gender equality: how to speed up progress

Calls come from all corners for Europe to lead the way on gender parity and accelerate change as gaping inequalities persist.