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25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 2021 Theme: Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!

Some girls commit suicide to avoid forced marriage - 72% of human trafficking victims are women and girls - Gender-based violence jeopardises girls’ education. These are just some of the reasons why we need to act now to end gender-based violence. Today we #OrangeTheWorld in solidarity with victims of violence, and the EU takes stock of progress made and challenges ahead, one year after adopting the Gender Action Plan III, which promotes gender equality and women's empowerment through all external action of the European Union.

 Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. In times of crises, the numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts and climate disasters. Emotional abuse is also a problem that cannot be ignored

During the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of the 'shadow pandemic' of domestic violence increased, showing that for many women and girls, home is not a safe place. 

Gender-based cyber violence is also spreading fast. A relatively new phenomenon is experienced by all women, though women visible in public life, such as journalists and politicians, experience gender-based cyber violence disproportionately often, which can affect democratic decision-making: they do not dare express political opinions due to fear of online targeting.

The European Commission and the High Representative/Vice President, Josep Borrell:

‘Violence against women and girls is a pervasive human rights violation… We condemn and call for the end of violence against women everywhere, including in conflict situations. Progress is possible and we must continue to work together tirelessly to achieve more. The Commission will propose to extend the list of ‘EU crimes' to cover hate speech and hate crime. This will allow the EU to be able to criminalise gender-based hate speech and hate crime. We will also propose new legislation to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence. It will propose concrete measures to prevent such violence, including when perpetrated online, to protect and support victims, improve their access to justice, and to ensure better coordination between competent authorities. We are stepping up our action and call to others for continued commitment and collaboration.’

It remains the responsibility of each and every one of us, acting individually and collectively, to #stopviolenceagainstwomen and to make the world a safer place for all women and girls.

Today we #OrangeTheWorld. Will you join us?