(Brussels) “Equality is a core value of the European Union, and a principle we will keep fighting for. Equality between women and men is no exception. Thus begins a long statement released by the European Commission on the eve of International Women’s Day. “Europe ranks among the safest and most equal places for girls and women in the world. The number of women in employment has reached historically high levels in the EU. More and more women are in positions of power today. That is something we can be proud of. But that does not mean that we are there yet or that these achievements should be taken for granted. Also in Europe many women are still facing challenges, inequalities and threats in their everyday lives: abuses and harassment, lower wages, fewer job and career opportunities. And that is unacceptable”. The message continues: “Particularly worrisome is the trivialisation of sexist hate speech, especially online, but also in the public discourse. Words matter and can lead to actions. They can be a first step towards unequal treatment or even physical violence. We call on all EU Member States to show zero tolerance towards hate speech and all forms of violence and discrimination against women”.