On April 6-7, 2017, a regional workshop for equality bodies on eliminating violence against women was held in Tbilisi, organised in cooperation by the European Commission, the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia and Equinet, within the framework of the European Commission’s Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance and Information Exchange (TAIEX) instrument.
This was one of the official events of the European Commission’s year of focused actions to combat violence against women.
The aim of the workshop was to share best practices from Member States on combatting violence against women, in particular domestic violence and to empower equality bodies in Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).
Focusing on combating violence against women through prevention, protection, support and ensuring access to justice, the conference also addressed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), which has not yet been ratified by all countries, but which has been signed by Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Experts from Belgium, Portugal, the Czech Republic, the UK, Spain and Croatia shared their expertise on fighting violence against women, with the aim of empowering independent organisations promoting equality, assisting victims of discrimination, monitoring and reporting on discrimination issues. The experts from Belgium (Institute for the Equality of Women and men), Croatia (Ombudsperson for Gender equality) and Portugal (Commission for Citizenship & Gender Equality) are staff of Equinet member equality bodies.
Katrine Steinfeld of the Equinet Secretariat presented the importance of standards for equality bodies.
The practice of Georgia was reviewed by the representatives of the Department of Gender Equality and the Department of Equality of the Public Defender’s Office. The Public Defender emphasized the importance of holding such an event in Georgia, as far as the Public Defender, as the body supervising the situation of equality in the country, attaches great importance to international cooperation and exchange of experience on issues relating to elimination of discrimination.
The workshop was attended by representatives of state institutions, international institutions and civil society.
The workshop underpins the Commission’s efforts to promote focused actions in this field. Indeed, 2017 is dedicated to combatting violence against women with a series of activities aimed at disseminating good practices and strengthening local and national efforts, in order to ensure a collective EU response to threats against women.
The agenda and presentations are available on the TAIEX website.