YFE statement reply to EC video on IWD 2022
At YFE, we believe that an intersectional approach should be used when addressing the issue of gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence is a global pandemic that affects society as a whole. Although it is acted out primarily against women, we believe it is important to highlight how non-conforming/non-binary people as well as POC suffer from such a violation of their most basic human rights. GBV sees its root cause in power relations between men and women, and men and people with different gender and/or sexual identities/orientations. GBV is perpetrated at every level: individual, community, institutional, and political/state.
Thus, focusing exclusively on violence against women and girls (VAWG) deliberately leaves out a large portion of those targeted by any act, whether physical or psychological, that aims to undermine their individuality.
There needs to be a shift from a victim blaming approach to one of who is involved/accountable.
We appreciate the efforts of the European Commission to launch a campaign to raise awareness of this phenomenon and its efforts to promote a more inclusive and violence-free society. However, we believe that to make these efforts effective and to address gender-based violence with the goal of eradicating its roots, more attention should be paid to the language, narratives, and approaches used to frame it. The interconnectedness of racism, capitalism, and patriarchy must be mentioned whenever GBV is addressed, and a strong emphasis must be placed on the importance of reporting violence. There needs to be a shift from a victim blaming approach to one of who is involved/accountable.
we call for the implementation of a broader definition of violence to sufficiently cover the many forms and spaces in which GBV occurs.
The video shared by the European Commission addresses the issue with language that is protective of women, focusing exclusively on VAWG and domestic violence (DV), thus overlooking a whole range of attitudes, acts of violence and (public) spaces where GBV occurs, e.g., violence perpetrated against human rights activists, women in politics, the transgender community that experiences among the highest levels of homelessness. Thus, our urgency to further address GBV in the public realm.
As YFE, we call for the implementation of a broader definition of violence to sufficiently cover the many forms and spaces in which GBV occurs. We strongly recommend consideration of structural and institutionalised power relations between men and women at all levels (private and public, national and international), as systems of oppression and inequality are interconnected.
Young Feminist Europe