LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Gender equality is a common goal

ILGA-Europe's statement on International Women's Day:

8 March is the International Women’s Day. The day gives us a platform to highlight the widespread gender inequalities in Europe, and to remind us all that the roots that nurture gender inequality and discrimination against LGBTI people are the same. This is why the fight for women’s rights are everyone’s fight.

As we mark this year’s International Women’s Day, we are unfortunately reminded of just how much needs to change for our societies to deliver real gender equality.

There are still unacceptable gender-based inequalities in workplace and we have a long way to go before women are equally represented in political and social life. Just a few days ago, the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) published the results of Europe’s largest survey on violence against women. The results are an appalling evidence of the prevalence of gender-based violence in Europe. In the past year, women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights had major setbacks, including the rejection of the Estrela report in the European Parliament.

As the FRA’s surveys on violence against women and on LGBT issues show, the women’s rights movement and the LGBTI movement share a common fight. Gender roles, norms and stereotypes are at the root of violence against women, just as they are at the root of discrimination against LGBTI people, homophobia and transphobia.

This is no time for complacency. We cannot afford to think that it is just a matter of time before equality becomes a reality. There are still structural inequalities and power relations that need to change. We need to be ready and act. Together. It is a common fight and a common goal.