The European Commission, the EU's executive body, announced Tuesday that it has dedicated 2017 to eradicating all forms of violence against women and girls. In a statement on the occasion of International Women's Day, the European Commission said it will particularly focus on assisting women and girls across the world who are excluded from education, from equal access to health and family planning services, the labour market, as well as political life.
That is why the EU continues to engage with women's groups throughout the world, including in the most challenging circumstances, like Afghanistan or Syria, it noted.
The statement, signed by nine EU Commissioners including EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, noted that too many women, especially single mothers, are still struggling to reach economic independence in the European Union.
The rate of women's employment in the EU reached an all-time high of 65.5 percent in 2016 and yet there is still a big difference with the 77 percent rate of men. "Much more must be done both inside and outside of Europe. Women are often among the most vulnerable, in conflicts, in situations of migration and displacement, and where poverty and climate change hit the hardest. In addition, there is an exponential growth in the numbers of female victims of trafficking arriving in the EU in the current migration context," it said.