Stop the violence against lesbian, bisexual and transgender women!

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2012, two co-presidents of the LGBT Intergroup recall that violence often targets women because they are lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. They also welcome the release of a Council of Europe study on discrimination against lesbian and bisexual women and girls, and transgender persons.

International Women's DaySophie in ‘t Veld MEP, Vice-president of the LGBT Intergroup in the European Parliament, commented: “I was shocked to see that as many as 29 out of 49 countries in Europe still require transgender persons to undergo forced sterilisation simply to be who they are—including my own, the Netherlands. Thankfully a recent campaign turned the tide in Sweden, and the Netherlands will soon amend the law. Now I call on all remaining 27 countries in Europe to follow suit.”

Violence against transgender persons is rife in several European countries, where they are left without protection from hate violence. In Turkey, 32 murders of transgender people were recorded in 2010 alone, the third highest global number of murders. A recent Council of Europe report comprehensively shed light on the violence faced by transgender people in Europe.

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-president of the LGBT Intergroup, continued: “Today I also want to welcome the publication of the study on Discrimination against Lesbian and Bisexual women and girls and Transgender persons recently published by the Council of Europe Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men. It reminds us that today, in Europe, lesbian and bisexual women and girls face violence, discrimination, and difficulties in accessing healthcare.”

“This is absolutely unacceptable, and we will keep hammering what should be evident: women deserve a safe, strong and equal place in society, be they straight, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.”

Next week, the European Parliament will vote its annual report on equality between women and men in the European Union.