Parliament calls for end to violence against women  

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The Parliament's building in Strasbourg lit up in orange  

Against the background of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women MEPs urged a swift ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

This year’s Orange the World initiative focused on the problem of rape with the theme “Generation Equality Stands against Rape”. One in 20 women in the EU has been raped, data shows. The European Parliament again joined the initiative to raise awareness by lighting its building in Strasbourg in orange on 25 November.

Violence against women in the EU:  
  • Half of all women have experienced sexual harassment  
  • More than 20% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a current or previous partner 
  • 43% of women have experienced some form of psychologically abusive and/or controlling behaviour when in a relationship 

On 28 November, Parliament adopted a resolution urging the Council to conclude the ratification by the EU of the Istanbul Convention as well as the seven EU countries that have only signed it so far. Violence against women should also be included in the catalogue of EU-recognised crimes, MEPs said.


“We know the alarming numbers: one in three women experience physical or sexual violence in their lives," said Austrian S&D member Evelyn Regner, chair of Parliament’s women’s rights committee.  "Every second murder of a woman is committed by someone close - friends or family. The perpetrators are often husbands, brothers or partners. So the most dangerous place for women is their own home. Violence against women concerns us all.”

Let us not look away. Let us listen to those affected and work together at all levels to ensure that women can live independently and free from violence

Evelyn Regner  

Chair of Parliament's gender equality committee

What is the Istanbul Convention? 
  • It is a convention by the Council of Europe on preventing and combating violence against women 
  • It is the first legally binding international instrument, establishing a comprehensive framework of measures for preventing violence, supporting victims and punishing perpetrators 
  • The EU signed the Convention 13 June 2017 
  • Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia and the UK have not yet ratified it 

The European Parliament has adopted measures to fight violence against women and promotes gender equality.