The Malta Independent 18 September 2019, Wednesday

The European Observatory on Femicide launched in Malta

Tuesday, 20 March 2018, 15:44 Last update: about 2 years ago
From left: Barbara Stelmaszek, Marceline Naudi, Blandine Millard and Karen Ingala Smith
From left: Barbara Stelmaszek, Marceline Naudi, Blandine Millard and Karen Ingala Smith

The European Observatory on Femicide was launched on 1 March at the University of Malta Valletta Campus.

The EOF is hosted within the University of Malta's Department of Gender Studies with Dr Marceline Naudi as the Scientific coordinator and Barbara Stelmaszek as the Research officer working for the Observatory.

The EOF began operating in January and aims to raise awareness of gender-related killings of women or femicide through collation of data. The EOF will monitor and supply data, advance research, promote comparability across the states, gain understanding of local contexts and cooperate with relative stakeholders. It is the first such observatory in Europe and plans to utilise the generated data to engage policy-makers in Europe and on country levels to work together in order to prevent femicide.

The EOF was born out of the 2014-2017 European Union funded Cost Action on Femicide across Europe (IS-1206) which Dr Naudi was actively involved in. The Cost Action resulted in improved knowledge about the definition of femicide, data collection and reporting of femicide and the topics of culture and prevention as related to femicide. During the final conference of the Action, which took place at the University of Malta in March 2017, it was agreed to continue the work in the form of establishing the EOF, if possible within the University of Malta.

The launch event was an important gathering of local and European experts working in the field of preventing and combatting violence against women. The event provided an opportunity to celebrate the establishment of the EOF, to make the public aware of the new initiative and to gather support for future work.

Dr Carmen Sammut, the pro-rector at the University of Malta welcomed the speakers and attendees of the event and Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, gave the opening speech. After presenting the work of the Observatory, Dr Naudi and Stelmaszek gave the floor to the evening's panelists: Johanna Nelles from the Council of Europe, Blandine Mollard from the European Institute for Gender Equality and Karen Ingala Smith of the UK Femicide Census. The panelists discussed their work in the area of femicide prevention and answered questions from the audience. A representative of Dr Helena Dalli, the Minister for European Affairs and Equality read her closing speech, since she was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances. The event was followed by a small networking reception.


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