Equality and human dignity are integral to human rights and a fundamental element of democracy. However, women still face violence and discrimination in pervasive and persistent ways. It is imperative for member states to commit to effectively combating violence against women, addressing the root causes of gender inequality and sexism and taking action to counter the increasing backlash against women’s rights.

Economic, social and health crises, such as seen during the pandemic, negatively affect children‘s right to protection by putting pressure on social services, prompting a rise in violence, sexual abuse and exploitation, and limiting access to justice, education and other services. The digital environment also creates further risk of violence against women and children.

Against this backdrop, common action is needed, based on Council of Europe’s standards and values, that ensures that equality is protected in law and is accepted without question in our day to day lives.