Following recent attacks on women in Cologne (Germany) and elsewhere in the EU, MEPs will debate the issue of sexual harassment and violence against women in public spaces on Wednesday evening. In a debate on Tuesday, MEPs will ask the EU Commission and the Council what steps they plan to take to prevent gender-based violence against women in the EU. A resolution to be voted on Wednesday will urge the Commission to deliver a "New Strategy for Gender Equality and Women's Rights post 2015".
MEPs are likely to reiterate their call for an EU directive on combating violence against women, as requested by Parliament in 2014. They claim that little progress has been made in eliminating violence against women and call on EU member states to ratify the Istanbul Convention as soon as possible. Sixteen out of 28 member states have yet to ratify it.
Parliament called for a new post 2015 strategy on gender equality and women’s rights in its resolution of 9 June 2015. So far, the Commission has presented only a staff working document, which has no inter-institutional value.
Background for editors
In February 2014 Parliament passed a legislative initiative resolution calling on the Commission to propose an EU-wide strategy to this end; including a draft law with binding instruments to protect women from violence.
In May 2014 the former Commission replied that it did not consider it appropriate to table a legislative proposal on prevention measures to combat violence against women.
According to the EU Fundamental Rights Agency survey, one third of women in the EU - i.e. 62 million - have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15.
Procedure: Oral question to Commission with resolution; Council and Commission statement
Debate: Sexual harassment debate Wednesday evening, 3 February
Separate debate on Oral Question on new strategy post 2015 on Tuesday, 2 February
Vote: Wednesday, 3 February (oral question with resolution)
#harassment #violenceagainstwomen #womensrights