The initial objective was to raise awareness about feminicide/femicide, or the gender-related killing of women, as well as the impunity that surrounds these crimes and to demand the integration of this topic in all political dialogue between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. While 15 years ago feminicide/femicide was an unknown issue at EU level, the constant advocacy of an alliance of several civil society organizations (CSOs), feminists, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Greens in the European Parliament resulted in the understanding of the term femicide/feminicide and its integration into official EU discourse.
The integration of a chapter on gender into the EU-CELAC Action Plan during a joint summit in 2013 was a resounding success, as both regions committed to implement this chapter that aims to guarantee gender equality, and the protection, enforcement and promotion of women’s rights. As one of its fundamental pillars, it includes the eradication of all forms of VAW. However, the implementation process has failed to fulfil the expectations of the aforementioned alliance members. It is difficult, or even impossible, to identify concrete bi-regional measures that go beyond specific activities with a restricted scope and without continuity.
At present, the main challenge regarding the chapter on gender is undeniably its implementation. Since the entry into force of the European Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention), the EU has had a binding comprehensive legal framework and approach to combat VAW. The logical conclusion is that this Convention, along with the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women (Belém do Pará Convention), will provide guidelines for the implementation of the EU-CELAC gender chapter. Likewise, based on the recommendations made by the follow-up mechanisms of both Conventions, namely GREVIO and MESECVI, the priority actions to combat VAW in the different European and Latin American states can be easily identified. Identifying these priority actions is precisely the objective of the study ‘New framework for cooperation between the EU and Latin America to promote gender equality and eradicate violence against women and femicide’ that the Heinrich Böll Foundation made in preparation for this conference. The study includes recommendations from MESECVI and GREVIO, as well as from the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women.
The aim of the 10th Conference on Feminicide/Femicide was to present and discuss these priorities, as well as trying to elaborate some concrete project ideas that could be promoted for implementation by the EEAS within the framework of the EU-CELAC Action Plan.