EU action to protect and promote women’s rights

The EU’s political will to protect and promote women’s rights is evident in the Guidelines, agreed in 2008, addressing discrimination as well as violence against women.

The Guidelines on violence against women and girls and combating all forms of discrimination against them promote gender equality, put in place effective, coordinated strategies, and address the impunity of those who have perpetrated violence against women. The document also prioritises women’s rights within the EU human rights policy towards third countries and sets out a strategy for dealing with individual cases of human rights violations.

The status and situation of women in the Euromed countries have been a preoccupation of the EU since relations with the region began. Recommendations and high level meetings on the subject ensure that the topic retains a high profile. On 11 and 12 September 2013, the EU participated at the Third Union for the Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society which took place in Paris, gathering Ministers in charge of women affairs and gender equality from the 43 UfM Member States.

The EU also works to promote women’s rights within multilateral organisations such as the United Nations. It participates in the UN Commission on the Status of Women and is an active supporter of a resolution on renewed efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women.

A further priority is the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 , which reaffirms the important role played by women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian responses and post-conflict reconstruction. It also stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.

See also: Women in armed conflict/women's role in peace and security

Women in armed conflict/women’s role in peace and security

The EU is committed to contribute to the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325  which reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction. It also stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.

High Level Conference on Women, Peace and Security, hosted by the EU in Belgium on 9 September 2010, called for greater accountability and monitoring of respect for women's rights in armed conflicts, notably by the UN Security Council.

A previous conference in March 2008 entitled: ‘Women Stabilizing an Insecure World’, had spurred 40 women political leaders to propose to the UN Secretary General that a ministerial level meeting be organised in 2010 – the 10th anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325 - to reinforce global commitment to its implementation.

The EU is working in substantive terms towards the 10th anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325 and EU implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security. See also: Comprehensive approach to the EU implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security .  

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