In the South Mediterranean region, there is little reliable information about the prevalence and trends in Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). However, some studies about the real situation of women illustrate the magnitude of the problem and show alarming figures on VAWG. Advancing women’s rights and combating all forms of VAWG are priorities for Euro Mediterranean countries as stated in the 4th Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Declaration on “Strengthening the Role of Women in Society” (Cairo, 2017) and States are responsible for enacting and implementing laws and public policies to combat VAWG and ensure achieving gender equality.
In 2019, the Regional Civil Society Observatory (RCSO) on VAWG was established to follow up on the implementation of the 4th UfM Ministerial Declaration, particularly in the area of VAWG, Women, the Peace and Security Agenda (WPSA) and Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE). The RCSO was established under a three-year (2019-2021) regional project “Combating Violence against Women in the Southern Mediterranean Region”, funded by the EU and implemented by EuroMed FeministInitiative (EFI) and a consortium of nine member organizations in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.
The RCSO has developed a Regional Index that provides a global documentation on laws, public policies and government services related to VAWG and WPSA that allows a diagnosis of the state of legislation and tools put in place to address VAWG in each of those South Mediterranean countries. It also provides policy makers with meaningful summary of complex data to support informed decisions and actions in the implementation of the 4th UfM Ministerial Declaration, in the area of combating all forms of VAWG, WPSA and PVE. The index contains 49 indicators for covering VAWG and 24 indicators for covering WPSA.