Conference 2007

Expert conference on violence against women

Representatives from European municipalities discussed and exchanged good practices on women’s and gender policies with a special focus on tackling domestic violence against women and trafficking in women.

Cities are important actors in the field of women's and gender politics. In signing the European Charta for Equality between Women and Men in Local Life, many cities committed themselves to developing and implementing gender equality policies.

On the initiative of the Vienna City Councillor Sandra Frauenberger the exchange between European cities and the cooperation on women’s and gender issues gained new momentum by enlarging the women’s network FemCities. Originally, FemCities had been a cooperation between Central European cities, especially in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Ten years after the network’s launch, FemCities expanded and won new partners, in particular cities from Western, Southern and Northern Europe.

In the context of the international campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” and the Council of Europe’s campaign against domestic violence, the conference held on 6 December 2007 took up domestic violence and trafficking in women as essential urban issues for an international exchange of best practice models.

The Role of Cities in the field of Domestic Violence

Against the backdrop of the international campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” and the Council of Europe’s campaign against domestic violence, challenges for the agenda of the cities in the field of domestic violence were discussed.

  • What challenges do cities face?
  • What possibilities do they have?
  • What kind of policies do they develop?

Keynote Speech on Domestic Violence by Heinz Drobesch

The Role of Cities in the Field of Trafficking in Women

European cities are increasingly confronted with the problem of trafficking. Based on best practice examples, potentials for future activities of cities to fight trafficking were identified and discussed.

  • How are the cities affected?
  • What challenges do they face?
  • What can cities do by themselves, where do they have to co-operate (national, European level)?

Speech by Helga Konrad on Trafficking in Women

The Future of the City Network FemCities

In a first step future orientations and possibilities of the network were discussed together with potential partners from other European cities.

General aspects

  • Why do we need a city network working on women’s issues?
  • What are the relevant topics?
  • What kind of goals can be achieved?
  • What is the surplus of this network?

Operational aspects

  • What type of network should be realised?
  • Assessment of needed resources (human and financial)
  • Definition of initial commitments
  • Outline of a work plan