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‘Stop violence against women, now!’ says PACE General Rapporteur Zita Gurmai

“Parliamentarians must join with international and civil society organisations to reject the backlash and backsliding that are stopping progress in ending gender-based violence, which affects women and girls around the world the most,” said PACE’s General Rapporteur on Violence against Women and rapporteur on the Istanbul Convention, Zita Gurmai (Hungary, SOC), speaking on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.

“Activism to end violence against women and girls is this year’s theme for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. As parliamentarians engaged in the combat against violence, we work with women’s organisations on the ground in our countries and internationally. Uniting our efforts and co-operating with civil society is the best way for us to know where laws and policies are needed and to receive early warning when they are not functioning as they should,” said Ms Gurmai.

“Article 9 of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention requires parties to ‘recognise, encourage and support, at all levels, the work of relevant non-governmental organisations and of civil society active in combating violence against women and to establish effective co-operation with these organisations’,” she recalled. “It also states that NGOs should be involved in awareness-raising and be seen as indispensable partners in protecting and supporting survivors of violence. This means they need to be given the space and the resources to enable them to operate fully and efficiently.”

“I call on Europe’s leaders to provide those resources in the interests of society as a whole and the quest for equality. More than ever, we need to reverse the backsliding and push forward together,” she concluded.