Progressive women strike back against gender-based violence

08/12/2020 - PES Women host online conference: “Women Strike Back – Putting an end to gender-based violence”

PES Women online conference

Speakers at the PES Women conference

PES Women and its national member organisations are committed to fighting for a Europe where everyone, no matter their gender, can lead a life free from violence, today's online conference reiterated.

Since the onset of COVID-19 lockdowns, violence against women has increased. A call to strike back against this “shadow pandemic” has been made by a host of civil society representatives, experts and progressive figures taking part in the online conference, organised by PES Women in the context of the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

PES Women President Zita Gurmai said:

“PES Women is leading the strike back against the shadow pandemic of gender-based violence. We need systemic change. We need to change the narrative. We need society to come together and collectively tackle this problem, which remains one of the most severe and prevalent violations of women’s human rights in Europe and the world. As PES Women we proudly convened this conference to put forward practical solutions, to share different stories, and to begin the mobilisation of progressives, civil society and activists against gender-based violence.”

The conferenced discussed the state of play for gender-based violence in Europe, reflecting on how to combat toxic narratives and the right-wing backlash against the Istanbul Convention, and put forward innovative policy solutions aimed at achieving fundamental change.

Conference visual

PES Women President Zita Gurmai, S&D Group President & PSOE EU Secretary Iratxe García Pérez, Deputy Executive Director UN Women Åsa Regnér, European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, audience strategy consultant Luba Kassova, Plan International CEO Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, President of Women Against Violence Europe Marcella Pirrone, President of Council of Europe GREVIO Marceline Naudi, President of SamuSocial Brussels Stéphane Heymans, and UK Labour MP Stella Creasy all took part in the event, which was moderated by Asha Allen, European Women’s Lobby Policy & Campaigns Officer.

The full conference is available to watch on the PES Women Facebook page. The event follows on from the PES Women campaign for the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) and a joint PES, PSOE, PES Women event - Progressives against gender-based violence – which took place on 21 November.

Earlier this month the PES Presidency – the decision-making body of the PES, bringing together member parties and organisations, full and associated - adopted a declaration condemning gender-based violence. The PES is proud to stand up for gender equality as a fundamental value of the European Union.