OSCE launches report on violence against women

WARSAW, 16 September 2019 – The OSCE today presented a report focusing on experiences of disadvantaged groups of women at the OSCE annual human rights conference, the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, in Warsaw. The report provides a detailed picture of violence experienced by disadvantaged women in South-Eastern and Eastern Europe.

“Poor women, those with disabilities and those from minority groups, such as Roma and Sinti, as well as refugees and internally displaced women, are particularly affected by violence,” said OSCE Senior Advisor on Gender Issues Amarsanaa Darisuren. “However, they rarely reach out to support organizations. Therefore, it is important to sensitize support services and law enforcement to their special needs to make sure that these women are able to access help,” she added.

The OSCE-led survey found that while all women can experience violence, some groups of women are at a higher risk. The thematic report, which complements the Main Results Reportof the survey, focuses on disadvantaged groups in terms of education level, income status, employment status, residential area, disability, age, choice in marriage, age at the time of marriage, ethnic or religious minority status, being a refugee or displaced person and returnees or those who were formerly displaced.

“The findings show that women’s experiences of violence are affected and shaped by many different aspects of their identities. Only by addressing all of these aspects can we develop solutions to effectively address violence against women,” said Cristina Finch, Head of ODIHR’s Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department.  “ODIHR’s work to support disadvantaged women across all programmes and activities speaks to this need.  We look forward to taking the results of this report and using them in our work to help put an end to these human rights abuses.”

The report is based on the OSCE-led Survey on the Well-being and Safety of Women undertaken in 2018 in seven OSCE participating States: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Moldova and Ukraine. The survey also covered Kosovo. In total, 15,179 women aged 18 to 74 were interviewed. The survey is based on the methodology used by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights for their report entitled “Violence against women: an EU-wide survey”, published in 2014.

“The Survey on the Well-being and Safety of Women provides comprehensive and comparable data on women’s and girls’ experiences of violence, which are essential for the development and monitoring of legislation and policies to combat all forms of violence against women and girls,” said the Permanent Representative of the European Union to the OSCE, Ambassador Ioannis Vrailas, adding that “it is now vital that actions follow these findings and the recommendations included are followed up on by participating States.”

This project is funded by the European Union and also supported by the UN Population Fund, UN Women and UNICEF as well as by the governments of Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States. 

Source: OSCE