Joint Statement on Elimination of Violence against Women,

Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and
Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, Věra Jourová, Commissioner
for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for
International Cooperation and Development and Christos Stylianides, Commissioner
for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management made the following statement:
Ahead of the occasion of the International Day for the elimination of violence against
women, we join our voices to put an end to violence against women and girls. This
violence constitutes a blatant violation of human rights and gender discrimination that
blights every country in Europe and worldwide.
We strongly condemn all forms of violence against women and girls.
The figures are alarming: one in three women in the EU has experienced some form
of gender-based violence in their lives. Too many girls are married or mutilated in
childhood within our borders and beyond. In many countries, over half of murdered
women are killed by an intimate partner, a relative or family member, in their own
homes. They are also very vulnerable to all forms of violence in conflict areas and
during humanitarian crises.
This year, we should pay special attention to the growing numbers of women seeking
refuge or asylum in the EU. Some have been raped, beaten or sexually exploited
during their journey, while others flee gender-based violence in their home countries.
They are arriving in Europe in need of gender-sensitive support, which we must
Combating all forms of violence against women and girls remains a key priority for
the Commission, both within and outside EU borders. The EU Victims’ Rights
Directive, which recognises the specific needs of victims of gender-based violence,
entered into force on 16 November. We support the EU accession to the Council of
Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and
domestic violence as a further step to effectively combat violence against women and
girls at national and European levels.
Another form of violence that targets most specifically women and girls is sexual
violence in conflict. As we are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the UN Security
Council’s milestone Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, the EU and the
international community must intensify their efforts to eliminate all such forms of
violence and bring the perpetrators to justice.
We believe that there cannot be sustainable development without women’s
empowerment and this cannot be achieved without eliminating all forms of violence
against all women and girls. This is why the EU has worked hard to put women’s
rights at the core of the new Sustainable Development Goals, including specific
targets regarding the elimination of gender-specific violence and harmful practices
against women and girls.
As from January 2016, a new Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 for EU external
relations, endorsed by the Council, will be applied. Fighting against all forms of
violence against women and girls is one of the priority objectives. In an effort to raise
awareness, the European External Action Service has recently launched a diplomatic
outreach with a focus on all forms of violence against children and women and in
particular to end child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
This year, the European Commission has allocated about €8 million in projects
preventing and combating violence against women and girls within the EU and €20
million in fighting against harmful practices abroad. The EU continues to fund
humanitarian projects that respond to gender-based violence in emergencies and
Today, the Berlaymont building is lit in orange in support of the ’16 Days of Activism
against Gender-Based Violence’ campaign of the UN Secretary General.
The EU is firmly committed to strengthen its efforts in order to make gender-base