All EU Member States have obligations to eliminate discrimination against women and ensure that they fully enjoy their human rights. The long-standing Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women is the basis for this. Since 2013, there have been several developments within EU policy that are relevant to the human rights of women.

First, the Istanbul Convention will create a comprehensive legal framework on violence against women, once it is ratified by all Member States. At the same time, the Victims’ Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) has now entered into law at national level and will outline a number of rights  for victims, including the right to understand and be understood, the right to information, and the right to protection and individual assessment.

The EU has developed an ambitious strategy to realise ‘new and more effective rights for citizens’, the European Pillar of Social Rights. Proclaimed in 2017, the pillar outlines 20 key principles structured around equal opportunities and access to the labour market; fair working conditions; and social protection and inclusion.