Women of Europe Newsletter No 92
for the web
Special issue: Domestic violence against
The European campaign against violence is taking shape
in different ways in the various organisations and Member States involved. But
what matters is that it is ongoing and that the Commission's support has not
been given in vain. Initiatives are still under way and they will go on for as
long as it takes, as we are determined to eradicate this outrage. This special
issue is devoted entirely to the campaign. It aims to provide an overview of its
diverse measures, viewpoints and events. If certain measures are not reported
here, it's just because we haven't received the relevant information.
What's your opinion, Colette de Troy?
The European Women's Lobby (EWL) has recently issued
its study "Unveiling the hidden data on domestic violence in the EU".
It has also been coordinating the "Violence-Free-Cities" project and
is pursuing its long-term lobby activities, in particular via an observatory
which cooperates in elaborating the recommendations it makes to the
institutions. Colette de Troy is the EWL coordinator. Located in Brussels, the
organisation represents some 3000 associations.
Seven cities against violence: the launch of an ideal
The "violence-free-cities" campaign was
launched by the European Women's Lobby as part of the European campaign against
domestic violence against women. It was conducted with great effect from 25
November, the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women, throughout
the following 16 days of action against violence. Details of these events can be
found on the EWL website, a source of ideas, contacts and arguments – material
which could inspire similar initiatives in other towns at other times. All in
all, momentum has been imparted and will probably not be lost for some time.
The European Policy Action Centre on violence against Women has set up a
Observatory on Violence to help it in formulating recommendations to the
European institutions and the Member States. It is composed of a group of
national experts, field workers and researchers, who are also responsible for
"monitoring" how the Member States' undertakings are actually carried
Zero Tolerance Campaign
Domestic violence is to be found (and is
even common) in all Member States of the European Union and all classes of
society. Is it acceptable? In order to work towards adoption of a "zero
tolerance" attitude and help to change mentalities, the European Commission
launched a campaign against domestic violence against women. The European
Commission is making available to interested parties a CD-ROM which can be used
to reproduce posters, stickers and logos. The texts were all drafted in English,
but the translations into the other ten EU languages can easily be used by a
professional designer or printer or slightly modified providing that the meaning
and spirit of the campaign are retained.
Contact in the Information for Women Section: Fax: +32.2.299 38 91.
Committee on Women's Rights
At its meeting on 14 December, the Committee on Women's
Rights adopted conclusions on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, calling for
incorporation into the Charter of a general anti-sex discrimination clause which
could be invoked before the European Court of Justice by individual
citizens/residents. It also discussed three Communications: on employment and
anti-discrimination measures (EQUAL Initiative), sustainable urban development,
and economic and social regeneration of cities and neighbourhoods in crisis
(URBAN), and strategies for modernising social protection.
Wave, an NGO network against violence
Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) is a network of
non-governmental organisations which aims to combat violence against women and
children in both public and private life.
Spain: plan to eradicate violence
In February 1998 the regional government of Andalusia
signed an agreement on "Government action plans on progress in eradicating
violence against women". It was in that context that the Andalusian Women's
Institute, responsible for coordinating the measures, organised a forum on
violence on 11 and 12 November 1999 in Seville; it was attended by professionals
from the sectors and social services concerned.
Greece: Advisory centre against violence
On 29 November, Ms Vasso Papandreou, Greek Minister for
Internal Affairs, inaugurated in Piraeus an advisory centre focusing on violence
against women. The centre will provide psychological and social assistance to
women who have experienced violence and also legal advice and information on
social services available. Contacts: (30) 1-523 52 50 /523 53 18 /411 20 91 /
412 91 01
Jyväskylä: Need for government mobilisation
What would happen if, some morning, the newspapers
reported that, in one year, a disease would affect a fifth of the EU population?
"The governments would react straight away, introducing effective
programmes and allocating funds to combat the disease". Ms Maj Britt
Theorin held this rousing speech against violence at a seminar held on the
subject on 9 November in Jyväskylä, Finland. Organised at the initiative of
the Finnish Council Presidency, the seminar assembled numerous European experts
and political leaders.
How to outlaw violence? A meeting was organised in
Paris on 6 December at the initiative of CNIDFF (National Information and
Documentation Centre for Women and Families) where the French, Spanish and
Italian participants attempted to answer this question. Forum on domestic
Council of Europe: Seminar in Bari
The Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men
of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held a seminar from 4 to
6 November in Bari in conjunction with the Italian Parliament. A number of
scientific findings were used as backing for the four topics covered at the
seminar: domestic and sexual abuse, slavery and forced labour in the home,
trafficking in women and prostitution, and rape in armed conflict.
Recommendations on these subjects were submitted to the Member States.
Lisbon: Closing conference of the European campaign against violence
The Portuguese Council Presidency is organising on 4, 5 and 6 May next the
closing conference of the European campaign against violence against women.
Contact: Comissão para a Igualdade e para os Direitos
das Mulheres, fax : +351.1.798 30 98
Nicosia: International conference
Cyprus is also taking part in the zero tolerance
campaign for the prevention of domestic violence by organising a conference on
the subject in November 2000; one speaker per Member State will be taking part.
Anyone interested should contact Mary Pyrgos, project coordinator. Contact:
Beijing + 5: Alternative national reports
The commitments made in Beijing in 1955 will be assessed at an international
meeting to be held in June 2000 in New York. WomenAction, a federation of
non-governmental associations and organisations, has recently set up regional
Internet sites, including a European site. Its aim is to take stock, country by
country, on the progress achieved on the 12 critical areas which the countries
defined in Beijing. With the agreement of the United Nations, WomenAction is
proposing that the NGOs should prepare alternatives to the official reports.
Publications Breaking the silence As part of the
Commission's campaign against violence, messages addressed to a number of target
groups have been devised, formulated and translated. A European history of the
fight against this scourge and European statistics are also to be found in the
brochure "Breaking the silence" recently published at the initiative
of the European Commission's Information for Women Section. It can be obtained
from all outlying offices. Domestic violence against women: European opinion This
document gives an overview of the main results of the opinion survey carried out
by the European Commission in all the Member States between March and May 1999.
These two documents are available at this site: http://europa.eu.int/
on request from the Section: Fax: +32.2.299 38 91.