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Wednesday, 23 November 2022 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Eliminating violence against Women (debate)

  Frances Fitzgerald (PPE). – Madam President, this is such an upsetting and disturbing debate when the President of this Parliament has to come in and say, ‘stop killing women’. And yet this is the reality, as we’ve heard from the personal stories here. Why do we allow it to continue? Because we are in the midst of a shadow pandemic where domestic violence, sexual assault and FGM are commonplace in all our societies across Europe.

We absolutely have to have a unified and comprehensive response, just like we did with the COVID crisis. Some 850 000 women’s lives are lost every 10 years. Cities the size of Marseille, Amsterdam or Zagreb disappear from this Earth. Just imagine that. Just think about those cities disappearing. That’s the number of women that are murdered every 10 years, that die. The Council has to think about this, they have to take action. If the Member States had ratified the Istanbul Convention 10 years ago, think about how many lives could have been saved.

Some of you will remember Ashling Murphy, a young Irish woman who was out jogging. She was brutally murdered in broad daylight in January of this year. She represents the thousands of victims we’re speaking about here this morning.

As co-rapporteur on the directive on violence against women, I am working to ensure women with you across the Union are fully protected, working with my colleague Evin Incir. This will protect many, many women. We have to do this. We need male champions. We desperately need male champions to eliminate violence against women, to work with us, as this is a human rights issue.

As International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is marked this week, I am calling on all political leaders, all in society, to fight for protection for women like Ashley and the millions of victims of violence against women that she represents.

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