Widespread gender-based violence, hate and discrimination continue to threaten the well-being and ability of women to live full and active lives in society, as a new paper by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows. It calls for renewed and stronger efforts by the EU and its Member States to promote gender equality and change societal attitudes to help eradicate discrimination and violence towards women.
“Too many men treat women as second class citizens, disrespecting their rights. This paper, and recent revelations, highlight unacceptable levels of discrimination, violence and misogyny,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “The EU and its Member States are challenged urgently to promote gender equality and change societal attitudes for the eradication of discrimination and violence against women.”
FRA’s paper ‘Challenges to women’s human rights in the EU: Gender discrimination, sexist hate speech and gender-based violence against women and girls’ explores human rights commitments and gives telling examples from across the EU over the last three years. It builds on FRA’s 2014 violence against women survey, the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind to date.
The evidence collected reveals how persistent discrimination and endemic gender-based violence severely limit the ability of women to enjoy their rights and to participate on an equal footing in society. It gives examples of how harassment, including online and towards female journalists and politicians, and gender stereotyping, fuelled also by media representations of women, further reinforce such inequalities.
Taking this evidence into account, the paper suggests a number of ways that could help improve gender equality and change how society treats women and girls. These include:
The paper is part of FRA’s contribution to the European Commission’s 3rd annual Fundamental Rights Colloquium – ‘Women's rights in turbulent times’ that takes place in Brussels from 20 to 21 November.
For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel.: +43 1 580 30 642
Notes to editors: