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Prevention of violence against women: fresh dynamism

For the PACE gender equality Committee, 2013 will have been a turning point in the prevention of violence against women: the political impetus given by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and the debate over the signature and ratification of the Istanbul Convention have allowed a fresh dynamism to be actuated, resulting in greater attention from politicians, a large number of civil society initiatives and better visibility in the media.

The report by José Mendes Bota (Portugal, EPP/CD), adopted today by the committee, takes stock of the situation in Europe and proposes in particular that the Council of Europe intensify its activities on violence against women by raising more awareness among the general public, and helping through its expertise to strengthen the legal and political framework for prevention in the member states. According to the committee, the Council of Europe could also perform a role with regard to data collection, by preparing guidelines in order to facilitate comparisons between member states and by co-operating with the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights in the context of a study.

Mr Mendes Bota also issued an appeal for everything to be done to achieve the ten ratifications needed to bring the Istanbul Convention into force at the end of 2013, and recalled the crucial role performed by parliamentarians, especially through the “Parliamentary Network Women Free from Violence”, in promoting the signature and ratification of this convention.