The European Committee of the Regions will hold a stakeholder consultation in preparation of its own-initiative opinion on Stopping gender-based violence – Cities and regions leading the way, by Donatella Porzi, Regional Councillor for the Region of Umbria (IT/RenewEurope), on 8 June, 3 pm, at the Committee Headquarters in Brussels. The consultation will gather input from key stakeholders and cities and regions on prevention measures and actions required to tackle the root causes of such violence, in particular at the local and regional level.
In this context, we define gender-based violence (GBV) in line with the European Commission as "violence directed against a person because of that person's gender or violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately". Although both men and women can be victims of gender-based violence (GBV), most victims are women. According to the EU Agency on Fundamental Rights (FRA), one in three women - some 62 million women - in the EU have experienced physical and/or sexual violence and more than half of women (55%) have been sexually harassed since the age of 15.
The first response to such violent assaults and its victims' needs mostly take place at the local and regional level, making this a major issue and responsibility for the local and regional authorities. The cities and regions are also leading the work in the prevention of GBV and in promoting gender equality. Therefore, the rapporteur would highly appreciate your views on the following questions:
- At the local and regional level, what can be done to prevent or at least reduce gender-based violence (GBV)? Which measures could the cities, municipalities, regions put in place to stop gender-based violence?
- Do you have feedback on trainings/workshops/classes organised for the police and judicial authorities on combatting GBV?
- How should the cities, municipalities and regions adjust their administrative/institutional set-up to better tackle GBV and empower victims to report assaults to the authorities?
- How could the competent authorities engage better the cultural, educational and third sectors to foster together the mindset change required to prevent gender-based violence? Do you have feedback from educational/awareness raising campaigns focusing on combatting GBV and how you estimate their effectiveness?
- What role could schools and universities in particular play in preventing GBV and promoting gender equality? Are you aware of any programmes or workshops incorporated into the curriculum?
The rapporteur would also appreciate if you would contribute to a brief, dedicated survey, open until 30 June. Please do note that all information will be anonymised and dealt with in full confidentiality, and serves solely the drafting of this opinion. You are also kindly invited to share this invitation and survey with your contacts at the local/regional level in order to collect the maximum number of responses.
This consultation would provide the Rapporteur further input and suggestions, with the aim that the CoR opinion would bring a meaningful contribution to the ongoing work on combating gender-based violence, as launched by the EU Gender Equality Strategy and the European Commission Proposal for Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence, and help make our cities, towns and villages safe places for all citizens to thrive.
The consultation will be in English. We kindly invite you to register here by Friday 2 June 2023. A working document will be shared with the registered participants in advance.
If you would have any questions on the survey and on the consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us.