Dear EU – make sure that gender matters…
Today is the International Women’s Day. ILGA-Europe and PICUM are using this day as an opportunity to call for a proper gender mainstreaming in the current negotiations of important European Union policies. We are calling for the EU institutions to include and mainstream gender in all its forms in all its adoption of new legislation and all legislation should automatically reflect all discrimination grounds.
Discrimination is fuelling gender-based violence in Europe. Women face gender discrimination every day in all member states of the European Union. In addition, "gender-based discrimination” is also related to the social construct of what it means to be either male or female. When a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex person deviates from what is considered ‘normal’ behaviour they can be victims of stigmatisation. In addition, people with an irregular migration status, risk deportation if they contact the police, and are denied access to domestic violence shelters, leaving them destitute and unprotected.
A significant number of legal and practical barriers can prevent these groups from lodging complaints and accessing justice in a fair and impartial way. They are more likely to become victims of crime, discrimination and exclusion, and with these factors also exposing them to further victimisation and intimidation. The legal framework for full protection against discrimination is already in place. The EU has the obligation to combat discrimination in all areas according to Article 8 and Article 10 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Moreover the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union clearly prohibits discrimination on any grounds in Article 21.
Negotiations are currently taking place in relation to two major areas of EU law with a great need for gender sensitivity. This includes the proposed Directive on the Rights of Victims and the adoption of new Common European Asylum System legislation. During the negotiations, the full inclusion of a gender dimension is among the issues at stake. The European Parliament is working to introduce favourable provisions in both processes.
PICUM and ILGA-Europe are calling on the EU institutions to adopt a non-discriminatory gender sensitive approach when deciding on EU legislation and policies in order to combat inequalities which cause significant suffering.