Since 2000, the day of 25 November has been officially observed worldwide as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in order to create awareness and trigger action to end this global problem. According to the United Nations, violence against women remains one of the most persistent violations: one in three women and girls in the EU has experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Yet, the issue goes largely unreported.
Several ALDE members and MEPs have joined the #OrangeTheWorld campaign, an initiative launched by the UN that aims to fight against all types of violence women and girls are experiencing. This initiative also marked the beginning of 16 days of activism that will run until the International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
The European Commission has outlined that combatting violence against women through legislative and policy measures, financial support and awareness-raising is a high priority. Věra Jourová – in her role as Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality (2014-2019) – has dedicated great part of her work to combat this issue.
Amongst the measures taken, Jourová – together with Commissioner Mariya Gabriel – launched the ‘Digital Respect 4 Her’ initiative in April 2019 to raise awareness about online violence against women and promote good practices to confront this problem.
“European values such as dignity, respect and solidarity also apply online. Women should feel free and comfortable to express their opinions online and to actively participate in public life. We call on everyone: EU citizens, industry, civil society and policy-makers to work together to ensure digital respect for women,” Jourová and Gabriel stated following the launch of the initiative.