European Observatory on Femicide launched in Malta



from left to right: Barbara Stelmaszek, Marceline Naudi, Blandine Millard, Karen Ingala Smith

The European Observatory on Femicide (EOF) was launched on 1 March 2018 at the University of Malta Valletta Campus.
The EOF is hosted within the University of Malta’s Department of Gender Studies with Dr Marceline Naudi as the Scientific Coordinator and Barbara Stelmaszek as the Research Officer working for the Observatory. The EOF began operating in January 2018 and aims to raise awareness of gender-related killings of women, or femicide through collation of data. 

The EOF will monitor and supply data, advance research, promote comparability across the states, gain understanding of local contexts, and cooperate with relative stakeholders. It is the first such observatory in Europe and plans to utilise the generated data to engage policy makers in Europe and on country levels to work together in order to prevent femicide.
The EOF was born out of the 2014-2017 European Union funded COST Action on Femicide across Europe (IS-1206) which Dr Marceline Naudi was actively involved in. The COST Action resulted in improved knowledge about the definition of femicide, data collection and reporting of femicide, and the topics of culture and prevention as related to femicide.  During the final conference of the Action, which took place at the University of Malta in March 2017, it was agreed to continue the work in the form of establishing the EOF, if possible within the University of Malta. 
The launch event was an important gathering of local and European experts working in the field of preventing and combatting violence against women. The event provided an opportunity to celebrate the establishment of the EOF, to make the public aware of the new initiative, and to gather support for future work. 
Her Excellency, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, the President of Malta, gave the opening speech and Dr Carmen Sammut, the Pro-Rector at the University of Malta, welcomed the speakers and attendees of the event. After presenting the work of the Observatory, Dr Naudi and Barbara Stelmaszek gave the floor to the evening’s panelists: Blandine Mollard from the European Institute for Gender Equality, and Karen Ingala Smith of the UK Femicide Census.
The panelists discussed their work in the area of femicide prevention and answered questions from the audience. Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, MEP from Sweden and member of FEMM, sent a video message for the occasion, and Johanna Nelles, from the Council of Europe, sent a written message which was read out. Mr Joseph Camilleri, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality gave Dr Helena Dalli’s closing speech, since she was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances. The event was followed by a small networking reception