Equality is a core component of fundamental rights protection. Yet gender inequalities persist in today's society, and are often compounded by other forms of discrimination, preventing women from enjoying their full rights.
Every day, women in Europe continue to suffer from violations of their human rights in the form of gender-based violence. In addition to the impact this has on the lives of the women concerned, the consequences of violence extend to women's families, their communities and society in general.
Today the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is publishing its findings on multiple discrimination at the European Union agencies exhibition "The way ahead", held at the European Parliament. The findings show that people belonging to 'visible' minorities, such as Roma and people of African origin, are more likely to suffer multiple discrimination – that is, being discriminated on more than one ground - than other minorities. Another relevant ground for discrimination that could increase the experience of multiple discrimination are socio-economic factors such as living with a low income.
Protection mechanisms on paper do not yet fully function in practiceThe 2010 Annual Report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) identifies challenges in the areas of data protection, extreme exploitation in the workplace, rights of the child, racism and discrimination, and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) issues.
International Women's Day on the 8 March was an opportunity for men and women alike to remember that gender equality is a right shared by everyone in the European Union. The theme of this year's International Women's Day - ‘Equal rights, equal opportunities: progress for all' - underlined the fact that ‘progress for all' can only be achieved alongside fundamental rights for all.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on 24 June released its Annual Report 2009. The report covers information, events and developments in the EU for the year 2008. It supplies material under the heading of ‘racism, xenophobia and related intolerance', and adds to this an overview of developments in a range of other fundamental rights areas, consistent with the Agency's mandate. The Agency's research shows that alarmingly few people are aware of their rights and where to report incidents of discrimination. Poor data collection in the EU-27 continues to hamper the implementation of effective policies to combat discrimination, whilst gaps in legal protection ensure that discrimination continues to thrive in certain areas. The FRA calls for better official data to raise awareness of how to report discrimination and encourage effective crime prevention initiatives at Member State level. Member States should also be encouraged to close the gaps in legal protection, raising awareness of the legal instruments available and targeting specific groups at risk of discrimination. More awareness-raising on rights urgently needed.