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Parliamentary questions
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6 May 2022
Question for written answer  E-001705/2022
to the Commission
Rule 138
Samira Rafaela (Renew)
 Subject: Women’s rights in India and the worrying trend of rape and sexual assaults

This week, the media reported(1) that a 13‑year‑old girl had sought refuge in a police station in Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh, India after being violently kidnapped and subjected to an atrocious gang rape. Inside the police station, the minor was subsequently raped by a police officer. These horrifying crimes demonstrate an insidious trend of sexual violence committed against women in India. The statistics show that a woman falls victim to rape every 18 minutes(2). The relevant authorities are either unable or unwilling to ensure the safety of women and girls. The clear undermining of basic human rights must be met with a firm answer from the Commission, especially in the light of the intention expressed by its president last week to negotiate new trade agreements with India.

1. Can the Vice‑President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy clarify what steps the EU is taking to raise the issue of systemic rape and sexual assaults against women in India?

2. Does the Commission have the intention of strengthening existing initiatives or developing new ones to combat sexual violence in India?

3. Will it strengthen and ensure women’s rights in bilateral relations, most notably through the upcoming trade negotiations?

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