PES Women: we demand zero-tolerance for gender-based violence. The line has been crossed.

Photography by Ukrainian Photographer Liana

PES Women relaunches campaign to end violence against women and make Europe a zero-tolerance zone for gender-based violence.

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), PES Women reiterates its commitment to fight all types of violence against women by relaunching its campaign and manifesto “The line has been crossed – Zero tolerance zone for gender-based violence”, which gained extensive support last year. PES Women and all its member organisations invite everyone to join this call so that all women can live free from violence and oppression.

As part of the campaign, PES Women has updated the political manifesto “Zero-Tolerance Zone: A Europe Free from Gender-Based Violence”, underlining its demands based on three pillars: a strong legal framework, adequate funding and changing mindsets.

PES Women has been calling for a Directive on violence against women for almost a decade, a demand which was included in the 2021 version of this manifesto. This year, the EU Commission made a proposal for a Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence, led by Commissioner Helena Dalli. PES Women calls for a swift and progressive outcome of the inter-institutional negotiations on the Directive, together with the extension of the list of EU crimes to cover all forms of gender-based violence.

PES Women President Zita Gurmai said:

“Women all over the world are still killed, harmed, harassed, intimidated, undermined, just because they are women. From Iran and Afghanistan’s women’s struggle, to war-torn Ukraine, to femicides in Austria, to anywhere in our societies – women face gender-based violence in so many areas.

“We say the line has been crossed far too many times. Prevention, prosecution of perpetrators and protection of victims and survivors are central. Violence happens in every country in the world, and we cannot call our societies equal until we unroot the power structures which lead to and even try to justify this violence which affects one in three women globally – and this figure does not even factor in sexual harassment.

“We progressive European feminists reiterate our call for stronger ambition and concrete actions to make Europe a zero-tolerance zone. PES Women calls for the EU to ratify the Istanbul Convention as soon as possible – a move which all countries should follow, including Turkey where violence against women has increased since the withdrawal from the Convention.

“Ending violence against women must be achieved through a collective effort, with leadership and action from the highest political level to concrete local implementation that benefits women and girls in all walks of life.”

To visualise the campaign, PES Women has produced a barrier tape, reminiscent of police incident tape. The purpose is to raise awareness of the shadow pandemic of domestic, intimate partner-violence and femicides. The tape and slogan promote prevention, drawing attention to the fact that once the police are on the scene, it is often too late.

PES Women is putting forward its demands by joining the UN 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (25 November to 10 December 2021). Follow PES Women on social media to find out more.

Throughout the year, PES Women has been calling to end harassment and violence against women on numerous occasions, not least through the #ReclaimYourSpace campaign with the PES LGBTI network Rainbow Rose or the #MakeHerCount series and debate for the PES Women Annual Conference in October in Berlin.