June 5, 2024

What do European elections mean for gender equality?

This opinion article by Sophie Pouget (Executive Director, RAJA-Danièle Marcovici Foundation) was published in Euronews.

If alone in the woods, would you rather encounter a bear or a man?

This recent
TikTok trend
has revived an important debate about women’s safety, as almost all women on the platform, as well as X and Instagram, chose the giant wild animal.

Their responses are unsurprising. In every corner of Europe, offline and online, women face abuse. Some are stalked, some harassed, some assaulted. The problem is so entrenched and widespread across the EU that one in three women have suffered some form of sexual or physical violence.

While this viral discourse misses how
violence is perpetrated by intimate partners, it is a fact that, in the shadows of pandemic lockdowns, domestic violence cases have been
rising sharply. In France, for example,
more than 100
women are killed by their current or former partner every year, while a rape or attempted rape takes place every
2.5 minutes.

In even greater danger are LBTIQ+ women, women with disabilities, and migrant women. A
recent study
found that migrant women in France are nine times more exposed to sexual violence and 18 times more likely to be victims of rape.