TGEU participated in a meeting on violence against women, its causes and consequences on June 17 in Brussels. The meeting was organised on the occasion of the visit of Ms. Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women.
Rashida Manjoo wanted to gather information on challenges and opportunities in Europe. According to Ms. Manjoo, Europe still has a lot to do when it comes to combating violence against women. She highlighted that any form of violence against women is a human rights violation. Transgender people, as well as, lesbian and bisexual women are also affected by violence against women and in her reports and actions she regularly addresses the issues that lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people are facing. She made explicit that women’s rights are human rights: at all levels, they are non-negotiable. However, she identified the need to use human rights language and make it non-negotiable with governments.
In a tour de table, NGOs active in the field presented the challenges and opportunities they had identified in their work combating violence against women.
TGEU presented the research findings from the Trans Murder Monitoring project for Europe: transgender people are highly exposed to gender-based violence. In the last 3 ½ years, 37 reports of murdered trans people have been documented; the majority being trans women. Unenvied leaders in the European country comparison are Italy and Turkey. TGEU emphasised that transgender people often get ‘punished’ not for what they do, but for what they are. Women as well as transgender people suffer from the same root of aggression. In societies where rigid gender norms are enforced and prosecution is slack, perpetrators are encouraged to act out what they feel is societal consensus.
On a different note, the regional transgender network highlighted that in the majority of countries, trans people seeking legal gender recognition are subjected to forced sterilisation, medicalisation and genital surgery.
ILGA-Europe highlighted that the recent Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence includes a very important article, which is key in understanding who victimised women are in real life:
Article 4 on fundamental rights and non-discrimination – Paragraph3: The implementation of the provisions of this Convention by the Parties, in particular measures to protect the rights of victims, shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, gender, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, state of health, disability, marital status, migrant or refugee status, or other status. NGOs work for the ratification and the concrete enforcement of the Convention, and hope that a particular attention is paid to this article in particular.