Por Soraya Rodríguez Ramos

Updated information on gender equality and women’s rights in the world and the role of the European Union.

Women at the Forefront

The role of the European Union in eradicating discrimination against women

The European society does believe in gender equality and women’s rights. Integrating the gender perspective in all policies and fighting against gender-based violence are inherent to our identity, and, they have become even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Promoting the values of the European Union is our way of protecting and ensuring the development of more democratic, inclusive, resilient, just and sustainable societies. Women, in the European Union and in many other parts of the world, today suffer from discrimination, violations of their fundamental rights, and inequality. From the European Parliament, and chiefly, from the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and Renew Europe, we are committed to pushing for women’s rights, ending gender-based violence, and combating gender stereotypes both within and outside the EU borders.

Women to the Forefront is a space designed to give voice to women who are at the front of the struggle for human rights, and those who work for women’s rights and freedoms where they are violated as well as to push for major changes to achieve greater equality in our societies.

First European directive against gender-based violence

The plenary of the European Parliament has ratified its position on the directive to combat violence against women and domestic violence after months of work and discussion of amendments in the Committees on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and Civil Liberties. The final agreement on the crimes addressed in the directive includes key provisions strengthening the protection of victims and establishing more effective prevention measures.

The following article analyses the key improvements we have made in the negotiations at the European Parliament with the inclusion of issues such as: access to safe and legal abortion, support for orphans of gender-based violence, combatting online gender-based violence and enhancing a holistic approach in relation to victims’ protection, among others.


Parliamentary activity

Related events


3 December 2023


The sentence of Polish US activist Justyna Wydrzyńska for helping a woman victim of gender-based violence to get an abortion has sparked a debate on sexual and reproductive rights in the European Union. MEP Soraya Rodríguez has questioned the silence of the European institutions regarding this condemnation and has demanded actions against the Polish government for violating the rights of activists. It is crucial to recognise and protect the work of these activists, who fight for human rights and women rights.

Trafficking in human beings is a serious crime, usually committed in the context of organised crime, which directly attacks the fundamental rights of those who are trafficked. The Directive 2011/36/EU, adopted in 2011, aims to strengthen the prevention of this crime. It brings a comprehensive, gender and human rights approach to the fight against trafficking in human beings.

Eradicating the digital gender divide is key to advance in equality. From a parliamentary group Renew Europe and as a member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament (FEMM), MEP Soraya Rodríguez has participated in the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67). The priority theme for this 2023 is technological change and education in the digital age.

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Women at the Forefront