#MeToo: alarming levels of sexual abuse and violence found in parliaments

Parliamentary Assembly Strasbourg 16 October 2018
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#MeToo: alarming levels of sexual abuse and violence found in parliaments

A new study by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) shows that acts of sexism, abuse and violence against women are widespread in parliaments across Europe.

The findings reveal that 85 per cent of women MPs have suffered from psychological violence in parliament; women MPs under 40 are more likely to be harassed; female parliamentary staff endure more sexual violence than female MPs; and that the majority of parliaments don’t have mechanisms to enable women to speak out.

The IPU/PACE study is based on extensive interviews with 123 women from 45 European countries. Of the sample, 81 of the women were MPs and 42 were members of the parliamentary staff. This report follows up and confirms the results of the IPU’s landmark 2016 study, which revealed widespread gender-based harassment in parliaments. This new report is the first in a series of IPU regional studies that will help build a global picture of sexism, harassment and violence against women in parliaments.

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