The European Parliament adopted the resolution “Combating violence against women” on February 25 2014. It requests the EU
Commission to submit, by the end of 2014, a legal proposal for measures in the
field of prevention of violence against women and girls.
TGEU welcomes this call for action as much needed. The
Parliament uses a trans-inclusive definition of “gender-based violence as violence that is directed against a person because of that person’s
gender, gender identity or gender expression or that affects persons of a
particular gender disproportionately.” The Parliamentarians see the root-cause
for gender-based violence amongst others in social inequalities between genders
and “ideas and behaviors based on stereotypes in our society which need to be
combated at the earliest stage with a view to changing attitudes.”
trans people, according to a EU-wide survey,
had been attacked or threatened with violence in the last five years. Most
prominently, Eurovision-winner Conchita Wurst, has been subjected to thousands of hate messages
because of her gender variant appearance.
The Commission is now also requested to
present a EU-wide Strategy and an Action Plan.
However, the resolution also says “prostitution may be viewed as a type of violence against women”. Many trans people, who are engaged in sex work,
reject such a notion, demanding instead recognition of and better
working-conditions for sex workers.
Considering sex work per se as violence against women ignores the
experiences of transgender and male sex worker. It also ignores the experiences
of sex workers and silences their voices.
the last six years TGEU documented more than 1.500 killed trans
people worldwide, with many of the victims engaging in sex work. Research
and sex workers’
organisations emphasize the strong linkage between precarious
working-conditions and vulnerability towards violence. Trans sex workers report
regularly about harassment by the police and authorities, which makes it even
more difficult to enforce payment, in case a customer refuses to pay or the
right to choose a customer.
“Transgender Europe welcomes the request by the
Parliament for more consolidated EU efforts to combat gender-based violence.
These efforts and particularly the fight against gender-based stereotypes need
to be explicitly inclusive of trans experiences.
After adopting last year a directive to better
protect victims of crimes, the EU can and should adopt comprehensive measures
to actually prevent violence from happening.” comments TGEU co-chair Arja
“TGEU calls upon the European institutions to review
its stand on sex work and engage in a direct dialogue with sex workers’
organizations. Violence is a crime everywhere. It is a joint responsibility to
protect those who are particularly vulnerable better against violence.” says
Kemal Aysu Ördek, TGEU Steering Committee member.