There is a significant overlap between women’s homelessness and violence against women. Domestic violence is a common cause of women becoming homeless, and 1 in 3 homeless women cite it as the main cause of their living on the street.
Homeless women are at increased risk of being raped, beaten, attacked, chocked, strangled, exploited in prostitution and forced to join street gangs. Following these extremely traumatic experiences, homeless women possess very complex and gender specific needs.
The Council of Europe recommends that there be a shelter space for every 10,000 inhabitants, but on average in the EU there is one for every 20,000 inhabitants.
With the European Parliament having recently launched a written declaration calling for a renewed focus on reducing homelessness across the EU through a specific EU action plan, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) has invited all Members of the European Parliament to sign and support this declaration, in order to ensure that the needs of vulnerable women experiencing homelessness are incorporated into EU policy making.
According to the EWL, "To date women’s homelessness has not been given enough attention by policy makers. By signing this declaration today, the Members of the European Parliament will be playing their part in protecting and vindicating the rights of vulnerable women, experiencing or at risk of homelessness across the EU."
"No woman in 21st Century Europe should be forced into a situation of homelessness and be exposed to gender based violence. Ending homelessness is a realistic and achievable policy goal but will require action and a commitment from EU policy makers."
For more information, click here for the factsheet by European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless, (FEANTSA), and the European Women’s Lobby, EWL,
To learn more about women and homelessness, watch the video below:
Photo credits: Getty Images/Scott Barbour
Infographic: European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless, FEANTSA, and the European Women’s Lobby, EWL
Source: European Women's Lobby