The Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in Hungary hosted the kick off meeting for our project on combating violence against women on 22 March. This was followed by the Working Group meeting on Gender Equality on 23 March.
The events were opened by Erzsébet Szalayné Sándor, Deputy Ombud for Minorities. In her opening, she emphasized that violence against women cannot be studied without taking the societal context into consideration. Social and cultural change is needed in addition to law-making in order to achieve results. One can only hope to reduce the latency of violence against women if society unequivocally rejects such violent acts as unacceptable.
She stated that the Commissioner’s office works in several fields where intersectionality is an important consideration, where the complainants’ racial or ethnic background combine with gender based discrimination (such as the segregation of Roma girls in schools). She emphasized that a fundamental rights’ approach is necessary, as violence against women and gender-based violence is always a violation of human rights.
She highlighted that the issue is particularly topical as Hungary signed the Istanbul Convention on 14 March 2014, and is expected to ratify the convention in the coming six months. The Commissioner’s office provided its opinion to the draft proposal in February and Commissioner László Székely joined EIGE’s white ribbon campaign in order to raise awareness among decision makers on the need to eliminate VaW.
The following day the WG focused on the training on equal pay for equal work, women’s career progress, gender equality in education and the situation of refugee women.
For more information on the Equinet project, see here.