Gender-based violence EIGE supports EU candidate countries and a potential candidate in the development of first composite indicators for measuring violence against women. This activity aims to contribute towards a better development of gender statistics and towards establishing harmonised administrative data on gender-based violence. The domain of violence of the Gender Equality Index provides a set of composite indicators that can assist beneficiaries in better monitoring, evaluating and responding to this phenomenon.
Violence against women and girls and gender-based violence is a cause and effect of gender inequality and the power imbalance between women and men, and one of the most widespread violations of human rights. This deeply entrenched phenomenon requires a coordinated and targeted prevention and policy response based on reliable and comparable data and evidence. Over the past years, EU candidate countries and potential candidates from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo1, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia) and Türkiye have strengthened their data collection on violence against women (VAW), contributing to a better understanding of patterns and trends and providing much-needed data for evidence-based policymaking.
As EU countries grapple with a new wave of Covid-19, police, media and NGOs continue to report on increasing rates of violence against women and girls. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) call on the EU and all Member States to redouble their efforts to protect women's rights and mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with concrete action.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the most common form of violence against women and the most extreme form of gender discrimination. It poses a threat to the fundamental rights to dignity, liberty, security, health and, eventually, the lives of women. EU Member States have not established a common definition for IPV, which means it is understood and measured differently across jurisdictions.
Femicide is an extreme form of gender-based violence, defined broadly as ‘the killing of a woman or girl because of her gender’. EU and international institutions use various terms to refer to femicide, including ‘gender-related killing of women’ and ‘feminicide’. In 2020, 47 000 women and girls worldwide were killed by their intimate partners or other family members. In 2019, while women accounted for only 19 % of total homicide victims, they comprised:
Rape is an unlawful sexual act and a harmful form of sexual violence that disproportionately affects women and girls. Rape occurs in the absence of consent, the voluntary agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. EIGE recognises the need for systematic data collection on the prevalence and frequency of rape in the EU, the effects of sexual violence on victims and the actions of Member States to prosecute and hold the perpetrators accountable.
Femicide, commonly understood as the killing of a woman or girl because of her gender, is the most extreme form of gender-based violence, deeply rooted in the inequalities between men and women in society. It is estimated that, globally, around 47 000 women and girls were killed by their intimate partners or other family members in 2020, and around 2 600 were killed in Europe (UNODC, 2021a).
Femicide continues to be widespread around the globe. In 2020 the global estimation of femicide shows that 47 000 women were killed by intimate partners or other family members worldwide and around 2 600 in Europe. However, the number of victims is in fact much higher. Orphaned children, bereaved parents and siblings of murdered women are rarely considered as direct victims.
The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) broadly defines femicide as ‘the killing of a woman or girl because of her gender’. EIGE recognises the various forms of femicide committed against women and girls as ‘the most severe manifestation of gender-based violence’. Various terms are used by the European Union (EU) and international institutions to refer to femicide. As the definitions used to describe acts of femicide are either lacking or inconsistent across the EU, methods for researching the prevalence of femicide vary, as does the administrative capacity of Member States to collect this data.