Ministry of Foreign Affairs pushes through new tools to improve attention for victims of gender-based violence abroad

A commemorative event has been held today, 25 November, at Viana Palace, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, entitled “25-N: Ministry of Foreign Affairs against gender-based violence”. The aim of the event is to publicise the work carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, together with the main aspects of progress made in this field.

The event included the participation of the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean, Cristina Gallach, who highlighted that the fight against all forms of violence against women is one of the pillars of the feminist foreign policy implemented by the ministerial department. This action is developed in different areas:

At an international level, through such initiatives as the Resolution “Women, Girls and COVID-19”, presented by Spain and adopted by consensus by the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on 16 October. This resolution sends out a clear message on the need to take into account the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and girls around the world, and the need to count on their participation in decision-making to respond to the crisis, and thus guarantee that their rights are not set back in any way. This is also true in the European Union, where Spain has been a major proponent of the third Gender Action Plan. Gender-based violence is also a clear threat to sustainable and inclusive development, to which end Spanish development cooperation and humanitarian action have incorporated the fight against gender-based violence as a cornerstone of their action in recent years.

The Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Celsa Nuño, focused her speech on the consular dimension of the fight against gender-based violence, highlighting the updating of the tripartite 2015Protocol for Action for Attention for Spanish Women who are Victims of Gender-based Violence Abroad, through the introduction of new initiatives, such as the creation of the position of Coordinator for Violence against Women Abroad at the Directorate-General for Spaniards Abroad and Consular Affairs, the adoption, on 9 October, of the agreement with the General Council of Spanish Lawyers Foundation, the introduction of an emergency remote psychological support service in Spanish and the inclusion of specialised modules in the training of staff that handle these cases.

All of these tools will lead to an improved response from the network of 215 Spanish embassies and consular generals abroad in dealing with cases of gender-based violence. In the year to date, 220 new cases of Spanish victims of gender-based violence aboard have been attended to.

In addition, within the ministerial department itself, she pointed to the creation of the virtual space “Stop Harassment”, which includes a specific protocol against sexual harassment in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its overseas network.

The event also included the participation of the Director-General of the Institute for Women and for Equal Opportunities, Beatriz Gimeno, who underlined the importance of cooperation between the ministerial departments that are partners under the 2015 Protocol and the joint work to achieve the consensus targets contained in the 2017 State Pact against Gender-based Violence.

The Under-Secretary concluded with a message of support for all Spanish women who are victims of gender-based violence abroad, a particularly vulnerable group, recalling that the embassies and consulates are available 24 hours a day, seven days of the week

The front of Santa Cruz Palace – the department’s historical headquarters - will be lit up in purple, the colour of the fight against gender-based violence on the afternoon of 25 November.







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