Saturday, March 10, 2018

What is the EU doing to end and prevent violence against women and girls?

The EU’s Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 has set an ambitious target to mainstream gender actions across 85% of all new EU initiatives by 2020. Progress is undeniable: 92% of all new initiatives adopted in area of the EU’s foreign policy and 60% of all new initiatives adopted in the EU’s International cooperation and development work have been marked as mainly or significantly aiming at promoting gender equality and/ or women empowerment. In 2016, the European Commission committed EUR 419 million for specific actions for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Among the programmes, the EU funded a specific action targeting 16 Sub-Saharan countries focusing on female genital mutilation. The support (12MEUR to a joint programme led by UNFPA and UNICEF) aimed at engaging with civil society organization men and boys, traditional leaders etc., as to change the social norms which make the mutilation so largely practiced. Data for 2017 have to be released but the EU is supporting different programmes to fight against violence against women and girls. In Zambia, for instance 25M EUR have been allocated to a programme aiming at strengthen the institutional capacity of the national authorities to fight against sexual and gender based violence, to prevent it, changing the social norms and mind set which lead to discrimination and violence, and improving access to comprehensive services for victims. In very recently, a large programme to fight against domestic violence has been adopted for the Pacific region (13M EUR)  Today, the EU has launched the Spotlight initiative together with the UN, showing with this its firm commitment against all forms of violence against women and girls.

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