EU adopts first ever sanctions against perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence

Ahead of International Women’s Day, the European Union has announced today the adoption of a package of sanctions against perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence on women.

Girls ‘poisoned’ at school by attending to class in Iran

Among those sanctioned: Some members of the Russian army, the Minister of Education of the Taliban government in Afghanistan and also some institutions and senior Iranian officials (more information on the links I enclose at the end of this post).

Besides the package of sanctions, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy made a joint statement where both Institutions point out their specia concerns for the gender based and sexual violence on women perpetrated by the Russian military troops in Ukraine, by the Government of Iran and the new Taliban Government in Afganistán on their female citizens.

Those are flagrant violations of human rights but these are not the only gender biased behaviors to eradicate not only around the world but inside the same European Union underscores the official communication I enclose below:

“On International Women’s Day, we think of the resilience and strength of women. Their resolve to stand up against injustice. Their dedication to protect others. Their unrelenting strive for change.

Not only today, but every day, we stand united with all women to build momentum for their rights across the globe. We want to empower women to pursue their life goals unhindered.
The growing oppression globally on women and girls and attacks on their human rights are alarming.

We stand by women in Iran, whose freedoms are systematically restricted; and those in Afghanistan, where the Taliban are trying to erase women and girls’ presence from public space, as well as everywhere else in the world where women’s fundamental rights and freedoms are being threatened or denied.

We are also deeply concerned about the reports that Russian Armed Forces use sexual violence against women and children in Ukraine as a weapon of war. These actions constitute war crimes and the perpetrators must be brought to justice. We will continue to work with our international partners to make Russia pay for these atrocities.

To strengthen global accountability, the EU has just adopted a package of sanctions against perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence…”

Some good news: Great progress on equality within the EU, but much still to be done

The joint communiqué welcomes the advances in the protection of women’s human rights and equality within the EU, but also recognizes that much remains to be done: “There is also good news. The EU has taken landmark decisions to ensure that women in the EU have the same opportunities as men. For instance, with the new EU rules on gender balance on corporate boards or pay transparency. We also want to set EU-wide rules to combat violence against women and domestic violence.

There is more work to be done. Real equal rights are still a long way off. Gender equality will only be achieved the day we are all part of its promotion and defence, be it in the EU and in the world.”

Image over the headline.- Maryam, an acid-attacked victim from Tabriz being treated in Tehran – 28 April 2018. Image by Hossein Velayati through Wikimedia Commons. To watch the original image and read the terms of the lisense, click here

Related external links:

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/500 of 7 March 2023 implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1998 concerning restrictive measures against serious human rights violations and abuses

Council Decision (CFSP) 2023/501 of 7 March 2023 amending Decision (CFSP) 2020/1999 concerning restrictive measures against serious human rights violations and abuses

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