24 November 2015
Collecting research data to counter femicide worldwide
Femicide across Europe is the first pan-European research network investigating the causes and risk factors of a phenomenon killing thousands of women every year, worldwide.
Femicide refers to the killing of women and girls because of their gender. European researchers studying the cultural, societal and psychological causes and risks factors behind femicide set up the network to fight the phenomenon through advocacy and research. One idea is to create a European Femicide Observatory gathering and comparing data from each of the 30 countries involved, of which half are Inclusiveness Target Countries . The goal is to come up with new guidelines and shape new EU public policies countering killings.
Specialists have been studying quantitative and qualitative data and ways to reduce discrepancies in country records. Such discrepancies are often due to the different definitions of femicide, which is sometimes seen as gender-based violence.
When our COST Action was first proposed, the term femicide was not widely used. Everyone knew of homicide, but few had given thought to the fact that some women, particularly those involved in intimate relationships, were murdered simply because they were women. Today, two years within the COST Action, ‘femicide’ has become a buzzword, Action Chair Dr Shalva Weil explains."
Network members have also been advocating for a more straightforward approach to lowering femicide rates in Europe. They have already addressed the Portuguese Parliament and the Parliament of Aragon in Spain. The network also took part in two United Nations sessions in Bangkok (November 2014) and New York (October 2015).
By participating in the network’s training schools and scientific exchanges, young researchers are also given the chance to better understand the phenomenon EU-wide. One outstanding result of the Action’s work is a comparison of national statistics from 10 European countries .
The Action’s next annual meeting will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in May 2016.