CNA News

Nineteen femicides in four years, need for effective prevention, data by MIGS show

A total of 19 femicides were committed in Cyprus in the last four years, according to data by the Mediterranean Institute for Gender Studies (MIGS).

Between 2019–2020 thirteen women were killed, five more were killed in 2021 and one more in 2022, reaching in total 19 femicides in four years.

Femicide, the intentional killing of women motivated by gender, is not only the most extreme manifestation of gender-based violence against women, but also the most violent manifestation of discrimination and inequality against them, Director of the Mediterranean Institute for Gender Studies (MIGS) Susana Pavlou has told CNA.

She pointed out that despite the seriousness of this problem and calls from the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, data on femicide is not formally and systematically collected in the EU, and there is a lack of cross-national tools to study femicide.

She said that with the creation of the European Observatory on Femicide, an international database began to be developed, through which comparisons can be made.

However, she pointed out, femicide is an under-researched topic. “There is no common definition of femicide. Furthermore, harmful attitudes, behaviors and stereotypes, as well as a lack of understanding of the gender dynamics of intimate partner femicide, hinder prevention measures, including early and effective intervention,” she added.

Pavlou said that the “Policy for the prevention of femicide: Cyprus” within the framework of the FEM-UnitED project, co-financed by the European Union, aims to improve the response to cases of partner violence (intimate partner violence) and domestic violence, to reduce harm to women and children and prevent femicide, and to generate data with the aim to make collective policy changes.

The collaboration under FEM-UnitED covers five EU countries. The ones participating are the University of Malta, the Cyprus University of Technology, the Institute of Empirical Sociology (IfeS) at the Friedrich-Alexander in Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany, the University of Zaragoza in Spain and the University of Porto in Portugal.

The project team also includes NGOs for women’s rights and gender equality. These are the Mediterranean Institute for Gender Studies (Cyprus), the Foundation for Women’s Rights (Malta) and UMAR – União de Mulheres Alternativa e Resposta (Portugal).