Challenges to women’s human rights in the EU

Women and girls in the European Union (EU) experience persistent gender discrimination and gender-based violence, as evidence collected by FRA confirms. This severely limits the ability of women and girls to enjoy their rights and to participate on an equal footing in society. This FRA contribution to the third Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights ‘Women's rights in turbulent times’ looks at core human rights commitments. It balances these against selected evidence on gender discrimination, sexist hate speech and gender-based violence against women and girls in the EU.

Recent revelations on the global extent to which women and girls experience sexual harassment stress the urgent need to tackle socially, culturally and structurally entrenched gender inequalities.

This paper underlines the need for EU institutions and Member States to stand firm in their commitment to safeguard the dignity of all women and girls in the EU. It therefore highlights concrete areas of intervention where the EU and its Member States could work actively to turn this commitment into a reality.


  • Safeguarding the dignity of women and girls in the EU
  • A comprehensive EU framework to counter discrimination and violence against women
  • Gender inequality contributes to persisting discrimination, hate speech and violence against women
  • All women are not the same: gender discrimination intersecting with other grounds of discrimination
  • Backlash against gender equality
  • In conclusion