Special Issue, December 2016 - 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence 

Dear friends, 

As we are approaching the end of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, we would like to provide you with a short update on what has been happening at EU level, including the European Commission's plans to fund a series of focused actions to combat violence against women in 2017. Below, you can also find a short update on our November events.  

If you would like to support us in our work to promote the rights of women affected by FGM and other forms of gender-based violence, donating online is quick and easy

Thank your for support.
European Coalition to End Violence against Women & Girls
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we joined forces with more than 25 European civil society networks to call on EU decision makers to act in order to ensure that the EU signs and concludes the Istanbul Convention in 2017. At a time when 1 in 3 women experience physical and/or sexual violence and at least 500,000 women and girls live with the lifelong consequences of FGM, it is vital for the EU and Member States to step up and act to end violence against women. Read the factsheet by the European Coalition to end violence against women and girls.
European Commission Year on Violence against Women 2017
The European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality has announced that 2017 will be dedicated to combating violence against women. A series of focused actions aim to connect all stakeholders, including national authorities, civil society and professionals, and coordinate efforts across the EU. The European Commission also released a joint statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, calling for concerted actions to combat VAW and protect women and girls. 
On the eve of IDEVAW, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the Council and the Commission to speed up negotiations on the signing and conclusion of the Istanbul Convention
Conference on Gender-related Vulnerabilities in the EU Asylum Procedures: Spotlight on FGM
On November 8, we organised a conference on FGM and asylum in the European Union. Read our press release and see some pictures of the day here. Our position paper on FGM and asylum, our guide on FGM in the EU asylum Directives, as well as some of the presentations, are also online. See our Storify for a quick overview of the day and read our op-ed in Euractiv and our feature in VITA International.
Members' training on the Victims' Rights Directive
In November, our members also had the opportunity to learn more about the Victims' Rights Directive and the ways they could use it in their work to support FGM survivors, thanks to Victim Support Europe. We have just published a Q & A on the Directive focused on the application of the legislation to FGM survivors and on the related rights.
Thank you to Abdulhadi!
Earlier this month, we had the pleasure to welcome a volunteer in our team to assist us with the preparations for our events. 
We would like to see more men involved in the fight against FGM and other forms of gender-based violence. Men's full involvement can send a strong sign that gender-based violence is not just a women's issue. Read about Abdulhadi's experience volunteering with us and his hopes for an end to FGM.
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