Next year will mark the 20-year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPA), a path-breaking declaration which was adopted by UN Member States at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. The declaration is a global call to end all forms of violence against women and girls by highlighting violence against women as one of the twelve critical areas of concern. Since then, significant progress towards eliminating violence against women and girls has been made. Nevertheless, the latest research available on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in 2014 calls to mind the brutal reality still faced by many women today:
- In the EU, 31 % of women experience physical violence, 11 % sexual violence, 18 % stalking and 50% sexual harassment. One in three women experiences psychologically abusive behaviour by their intimate partner.
- Some countries in the Europe and Central Asia region (ECA) rank among the highest in terms of prevalence rates of intimate partner violence in a worldwide comparison.
As part of the global 20-year review of the implementation of the BPA to be held in March 2015, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) held a Beijing +20 Regional Review Meeting on 6-7 November 2014. Cornelia Rauchberger, consultant at Fresno, the right link, provided technical assistance to the drafting of the Policy Note on Preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls in the Europe and Central Asia region for this meeting. The note focuses on the main trends in the ECA region with regards to forms of violence, perpetrators and victims. It reviews policies, their implementation and advances in research conducted on this matter, and presents the main challenges to preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls and areas for priority action.