Revolt against violence against women

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Paris and Rome on the weekend to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In France alone, 137 women were killed this year by their partner or ex-partner, and 94 in Italy. Commentators are horrified by these figures and outline the measures they believe are necessary for a comprehensive prevention strategy.

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Die Welt (DE) /

Undereducated milieus are more violent

Certain risk factors are correlated to people's environment and should not be overlooked, Die Welt points out:

“Money worries, alcohol and drugs demonstrably increase the risk of violence. In addition, studies show clear causal relationships between a lack of education and the propensity to violence. This fact must not be overlooked out of political correctness. Those who do will miss the chance to foster other forms of conflict resolution and an image of women based on gender equality through improved education and non-violence training in problem areas and schools. The fact is that above all women from undereducated families - and women with a migration background - seek help at women's shelters.”

Hürriyet Daily News (TR) /

What stance will urban Turkish women take?

A small, very conservative group in the Turkish parliament is trying to revoke the women's rights formulated in the Istanbul convention, Hürriyet Daily News complains:

“The mentality behind the anti-Istanbul convention coalition is the perception of refusing to see a woman as an individual but as an essential tenet of the family. But there is also an ideological side to it. Advocacy of women's rights is seen as the cause upheld by the secular opposition. Any backpedaling on women's rights is seen as a gain against the opposition. In that sense, it will be highly interesting to watch how the female supporters of the government, mainly pious/conservative yet urban women, will react to efforts that will lead to the erosion of their rights.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Economic equality is the key

Too little is being done about the social causes of violence against women, Der Standard argues:

“People still barely see the big picture. Especially not once the dreadful cases have faded into the background again. Then, an increase in the budget of the [Austrian] Ministry for Education and Women's Affairs, which for almost 10 years has had to make do with a paltry 10 million euros, seems completely unnecessary. Yet it's obvious that equality is the most effective instrument for combating violence against women. Economic dependence is a security risk for women, yet the devalorisation of women's work is an everyday occurrence in our society: they receive nothing for their care work and less than men for their wage work. Politicians have done nothing to remedy this for years.”

taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Femicide must be made a separate offence

Germany still lacks a comprehensive strategy for combating the murder of women, taz complains:

“Although every third day a woman is killed in Germany by her partner or ex-partner, femicide is not recognised as an offence in its own right. The German government has even refused to acknowledge the term as such. Even today 'separation-related murders' aren't classified as murder because the courts show understanding for the motives of the abandoned killer. And women who take refuge from the violence in women's shelters often don't find the protection they deserve due to chronic overcrowding. Systematic funding for shelters, a recognition of the phenomenon of femicide and special police and judicial training are needed to prevent future murders.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Use the proper terminology

Spain's far-right party Vox opposes the term "violence against women" and insists that the phenomenon should be referred to as "domestic violence" in order to prevent the criminalisation of innocent men. Author Emma Riverola draws a comparison in El Periódico de Catalunya:

Eta murdered 864 people over 40 years. More than 1,000 women have been murdered in the last 16 years by their partners or ex-partners. ... Can you imagine if, during the bloodiest years of Eta, a party had demanded that the obvious link between terror, politics and murder be negated? That the status of victims of terrorism be denied to those murdered and injured by Eta? That the term 'Eta terrorism' be avoided in order not to criminalise all Basques? ... That's what Vox does every day. ... It defiles the memory of so many dead women.”

Politiken (DK) /

Timely intervention is possible

Recognising the structural dimensions of femicide would help to prevent these crimes, Politiken concurs:

“Partner killings do not happen all of a sudden. British research shows that such murders go through eight phases, from the first happy meeting to mental and physical violence to murder. But this terrifying predictability can in fact make us optimistic. Because once you know the pattern, you can predict the outcome and intervene. For example with counselling for both the man and the woman aimed at stopping the violence that could end in murder. But for that to happen, femicide must no longer be reduced to single, unfortunate family incidents.”