A huge feminist mobilisation is sweeping Europe

November 27, 2023

Activists from WeMove and partner organisations protesting against gender violence

By WeMove Europe

A few days ago, Marta Asensio bravely told European politicians her story of surviving sexual violence after being drugged without her consent. [1] Her speech moved everyone present and showed how our laws fall short of protecting victims.

Thanks to this community we were able to bring Marta to Brussels to deliver a clear message to our EU leaders: sex without consent is rape, and ONLY YES MEANS YES.

No EU country is free from violence against women, and there is still no EU law to combat this violence and protect the 62 million women who face it. [2] But we have made significant progress.

Days before the negotiations on this law, we gathered survivors, legal experts, activists, and civil society organizations, to speak to our representatives in Brussels. And we organized a powerful demonstration where dozens of women demanded our representatives to make non-consensual sex a crime in Europe. This will enhance the protection of women in more than half of EU countries. [3]

France and Germany are blocking this proposal, so we designed a plan to make sure they don’t stop this historic opportunity to advance women's rights.

With an action at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, we captured the attention of the French media. Several women put on a face mask showing Macron covering women's mouths to demonstrate how France's government is trying to silence women and turn its back on protecting consent.


But we didn’t stop there:

  • In Berlin, we delivered over 100,000 signatures to key members of Parliament;
  • We sent hundreds of tweets to the French President Macron urging him to defend the common definition of rape in Europe where "only yes means yes"; and
  • We published a comic with a famous Spanish illustrator that has gone viral with more than 70,000 likes on Instagram


Some countries have already changed their stance thanks to the pressure from this community, and the work of the feminist movement throughout the EU. But if we want to win, we need to continue to gather momentum to ensure that Europe becomes a safe place for all women and girls.


[1] https://www.wemove.eu/en/updates/an-activist-s-speech

[2] https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/1-in-3-women-in-europe-experienced-violence-european-parliament-rapporteur/2893263

[3] https://womenlobby.org/EWL-Observatory-Analysis-of-definitions-of-rape-in-the-EU-The-added-value-of

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