On 25 November we are fighting for the elimination of violence against women, as we do every day of the year. Women’s organizations have brought the institutional nature of this violence into the public sphere. This violence continues to be widespread and affects women at all levels of society, regardless of age, education, income, social status, and country of origin or residence, it is one of the most serious obstacles to achieving gender equality, and we are fighting for it not to continue into the present and the future because it undermines the lives of women and girls and violates human rights.
In the bleak social landscape for women today we inform:
Daily violence intensified during the pandemic and the confinement, as all research has documented, in the context of family and interpersonal relationships. More and more women are talking about this, and at the same time, the increase in reports of domestic violence and rape is confirmed. But the slow or inappropriate response of the police and the judicial system often results in domestic violence perpetrators and rapists being spared. The peak of violence is tragically recorded in the number of femicides: from 2007 until today we count, on average, one femicide per month with the perpetrator being a husband or partner, son, father or some other man who considered the murdered woman to be his property. The number of unsolved femicides is, for the time being, unknown…
In other words, we demand that, in cases of bodily harm, threat, or unlawful violence, the flagrante delicto proceedings be followed as a rule by arresting the offender, bringing him before the public prosecutor, prosecuting him, and referring him immediately to the criminal court. Victims should be approached with respect for their dignity and encouraged to report violent behaviour against them. Our tolerance must be zero, only in this way will the abscess of violence against women be broken. We are calling for the term femicide, i.e. murder due to gender, to be introduced into the law, so that this criminal act in particular is visible to society and punished as an aggravating circumstance compared to homicide.
We demand the immediate implementation of ALL measures to protect and support survivors of violence and their children, victims, or witnesses, included in the Istanbul Convention AND the incorporation of ALL its provisions into the Criminal and Civil Code and codes of procedure.
We demand the strengthening and multiplication of women’s support structures, the extension of opening hours, and the framing and staffing with permanent staff so that they can provide effective psychosocial support, hospitality, and legal representation. The creation of the infrastructure required for urgent, IMMEDIATE, hospitality without any bureaucracy, for an alternative accommodation of women & children excluded from shelters, and for those who need long-term accommodation that lasts until the basic problems of survivors of violence and their children are resolved.
We demand the allocation of sufficient funds from the state, to be included in this year’s budget and especially from the Support and Resilience fund allocated due to Covid, to address issues of domestic violence, but also the establishment of a special allowance to support women and children escaping from domestic violence, especially those, who are not eligible for standard allowances (e.g. Guaranteed Minimum Income, rent allowance, child allowance). We demand the automation of the process considered necessary to provide legal aid to low-income citizens, and the broadening of income criteria, at least for survivors of domestic violence who have children.
The law on compulsory co-custody 4800/2021 (Tsiara Law) exposes women to a spectrum of violence that could have been avoided, forcing them to remain in geographical proximity to those who abuse them, who continue to exercise their parental rights until their final conviction for domestic violence (3-5 years). Our important fight to prevent this bill from passing has not stopped the momentum of the minister and the government, and we call for the annulment of law 4800/2021.
We demand that the forensic service be strengthened and made available for citizens, and for victims of violence, 24 hours a day, all year round.
We call on journalists’ unions to stem the tide of sexism in the media and to demand that their members apply the relevant codes of conduct, avoiding the repeated projection of bad role models.
In order to eradicate violence and harassment in the world of work, Convention 190 of the International Labour Organisation has been ratified, but the conditions have not been created for the immediate and easy reporting of the victims of this violence so that there is no secondary victimization.
We call for the necessary legislative interventions to be made so that they can be implemented immediately throughout the public sector. We demand that Convention 190 be applied in all mixed contexts, public and private, where employees hold positions of responsibility towards the persons to whom they provide services, who are considered protected persons. Special attention should be paid to health workers who, in addition to exhausting working hours and low wages, often face violence and harassment.
We call for the immediate activation of the social partners so that regulations can be signed that will ensure the implementation of the Convention throughout the private sector and in companies of less than 20 people, whose employees are also more vulnerable.
The abolition of the Labour Inspectorate leaves workers exposed to employers’ demands.
We demand that asylum be granted at the border to refugee women who report gender-based violence and rape either in the countries from which they left or during their journey.
We denounce the misogynistic conferences that are organized every now and then, supposedly on the demographic issue, with the support of the church and political actors and even government officials. Luckily, we canceled one of them thanks to our protests, but they come back to incriminate women. We reiterate that it is a woman’s right to decide whether and when to bring children into the world.
We demand the creation of a Ministry of Gender Equality and, until this is achieved, the re-establishment of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality which, in the space of two years, has been renamed twice, putting equality in a subordinate position, and putting family and the demographic issue first.
We are fighting for a strong and massive feminist movement, to prevent patriarchal plans promoted by institutional actors of various kinds, to change attitudes in society, and to strengthen solidarity. We are optimistic that we will succeed.
The signatory women’s organisations
- Women’s Self-Defense Group
- Diotima – Center for Gender Rights and Equality
- Greek Network for the Feminist Strike
- Greek Network of European Women
- Greek Women’s Union
- Union of Qualified Greek Women Engineers
- European Anti-Violence Network
- Centre for Research and Action for Peace
- MITERAS ERGON Association of Mothers with Many Children
- Mother’s Wings Greece
- NIMERTIS ACTIONART
- Women’s Rights Group
- Social Intervention Dytika
- Women’s group of the association of social and cultural intervention “Thryalida”
- Piraeus Women’s Initiative
- Coalition Feminist Asylum, European Feminist Resolution
- Women’s Rights Association “TO MOV”
- Single Moms Unite
- Feminist Collective THEODORA
- YWCA Greece