“Our goal is very clear: to end all forms of violence against women and girls. We owe it to all the victims”. This is the mission laid out by the European Commission in a statement released today ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November). The problem is huge: “One in three women in the European Union have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. And violence “against women and children has increased since COVID-19 lockdown measures started”, the statement reads, calling on all Member States to “develop and implement” extraordinary measures at this time. “Change is possible, but it requires action, commitment and determination”. The EU is already working on many fronts and, in the coming days, it will also present a “new Action Plan on gender equality and women and girl’s empowerment in our external actions”. The Commission also calls on Member States to ratify the Istanbul Convention, “the first legally binding instrument at the international level to combat violence against women and domestic violence”, which “is a violation of human rights, and has no place in the European Union, or anywhere else in the world”.