In 2014 the European Fundamental Rights Agency published the first EU-wide survey on violence against women based on interviews with 42.000 women about their experiences of physical, sexual, and psychological violence, including incidents of intimate partner violence (IPV). The results were alarming: almost 1 in 4 women experienced violence in a relationship with a man. It was a wake-up call.

A year later, the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme funded WE GO! Women Economic Independence & Growth Opportunity, a project that allowed actors from seven EU countries to exchange know-how and practices on how to support the social and economic empowerment of women who survived violence. The project throve especially on the crucial knowledge and expertise of Anti-Violence Centres (AVCs), which eventually led to the development of ad hoc recommendations. 

WE GO! 2 - Building Economic Independence, the Way Out of IPV was built on the foundations laid by WE GO! 1. Six organizations from Italy, Spain, Greece, and Bulgaria continued the work begun in 2015, namely 3 NGOs, 2 AVCs, and a research institute.

WE GO! 2 aimed to broaden the use & deepen the impact of promising practices to foster the IPV survivors’ economic empowerment, through a better coordination among all relevant stakeholders, including the private sector. The project’s specific objectives were:

  • To design and deliver transferable training sessions to strengthen the capacity of professionals to support the economic empowerment of IPV survivors, also through the establishment of local networks (Capacity Building).
  • To test scalable models of territorial multi-agency coordination to boost IPV survivors’ employability via a local ecosystem capable to provide for workable solutions for IPV survivors (Networking).
  • To update knowledge on the economic empowerment of IPV survivors and share it through trainings for companies, events, and debates, involving a wide range of actors (Awareness Raising).

WE GO3 – From individual IPVs empowerment to community activation was built on the main findings of the former WE GO! projects. It started in April 2021 and will end in March 2023.

The third edition of the project targets 4 countries and is implemented by 6 partners:

  • ActionAid Italia, Italy
  • Istituto per la Ricerca Sociale (IRS), Italy
  • Center for Sustainable Communities Development, Bulgaria
  • Rel.azioni Positive Società Cooperativa Sociale, Italy
  • Fondation agir contre l’Exclusion (FACE), France
  • Women’s Center of Karditsa (WCK), Greece,

WE GO3 aims to increase the local multi-agency networks’ capacity to foster the IPV survivors’ socio-economic independence through the design and adoption of gender-responsive labour policies.

The project’s specific objectives are:

  • To strengthen AVCs and support services’ capacity to influence institutional processes on socio-economic empowerment-related issues.
  • To increase the active participation of companies and the world of work at large in a multi-stakeholder local ecosystem to promote the economic independence of IPV survivors, also through decent work opportunities and support. The consolidated networks of companies created in the previous projects will collaborate to extend the audience of organizations engaged in the IPV survivors’ support.
  • To improve the policies that support IPV survivors to overcome barriers to their economic empowerment.
  • To advocate for the integration of policies addressing IPV survivors’ support, socio-economic empowerment, and discrimination both at national and EU level.

AVCs, institutions, companies, trade unions, job placement and training centres will co-design and test supporting measures for IPVs in the field of work, including the adaptation of work-life balance measures to IPVs specific needs, the extension of anti-discrimination policies to GBV cases, the introduction of support measures for IPVs searching for a job or employed in precarious jobs.

Expected results

  • 400 operators of 120 AVCs and support services will increase their knowledge about women’s labour rights & available measures to support the economic empowerment of IPV survivors;
  • 60 operators from 12 centres will actively participate in the local Policy labs to co-design policy and practical measures for the support of IPVs economic empowerment;
  • 1800 IPVs will influence the co-design of new policy proposals and 80 of them will be supported in empowerment paths and will increase their knowledge about women’s labour rights;
  • 15 companies will benefit from the on-line training developed in the CEASE project and 10 companies will obtain the WEGO2 Label.
  • 200 representatives of companies, trade unions, job placement agencies, and training centres will participate in the policy labs.
  • 15 institutions will attend the national policy labs and trials so to acquire the know-how of participatory processes in the view to replicate the approach at the local level.
  • 2000 professionals will be sensitized about the different concepts of empowerment.
  • National and EU stakeholders will be targeted by advocacy and dissemination actions: 4 EU stakeholders (MEPs and ETUC representatives) will join the EU policy lab, 45 actors will be met in F2F meetings, 1000 stakeholders will receive the policy report; and 100 people will participate in the international conference.
  • 15000 people will be sensitized and informed about project results.