To fight crimes of femicide – when a woman is killed because of her gender – it is key to identify and count cases accurately.
Recent meetings between EIGE, the EU knowledge centre on gender equality, and the Austrian government provide insights on approaches taken in Austria and underline the importance of implementing legislation and improving data collection practices on femicide across the EU.
Federal Minister for Women, Family, Integration and Media, Susanne Raab stated:
The fight against violence and the protection of women is top priority for the Austria government. Valid data is crucial for targeting root causes and for implementing effective measures.
Carlien Scheele, EIGE Director said:
Our meetings reconfirmed the serious efforts undertaken at national level to fight femicides as well as the importance to support this fight at EU-level through comparable definitions and data. The more information we have on the motivations and circumstances behind the killing of women, the more likely we are to correctly identify femicides and design (targeted) preventive and protective policies.
Sound and comparable data is essential to understanding the prevalence of femicide. Yet, data is, at present, rather fragmented. To help countries identify the different forms of femicide, EIGE has developed a package that includes a classification system, as well as guidance on how to identify the ‘gender dimension’ of a female homicide.
Minister of Justice Alma Zadić stated:
Improving data collection is key to effectively combat femicide. Therefore, we already implemented a nationwide uniform definition in order to be able to statistically evaluate domestic violence. The high number of femicides shows that it is our collective duty to initiate necessary changes to improve the security of women in Austria. I want to thank EIGE for their important research, which is an outstanding support in understanding and thus preventing femicides.
EIGE is currently identifying gaps between law and practice in providing justice to victims and their families as well as recommendations to help EU Member States improve their institutional response to femicide cases.
A country visit by EIGE representatives to Austria from 16 to 18 May 2022 provided the framework for a series of meetings, among others with the Federal Minister for Women, Family, Integration and Media, the Federal Minister for Justice, members of parliament, as well as representatives from the city of Vienna and different NGOs. EIGE’s delegation took the opportunity to visit the Wiener Interventionsstelle gegen Gewalt in der Familie (Domestic Violence Intervention Centre Vienna) to learn more about the work of this important service for victims of domestic violence.