While progress has been made towards equality for women, ethnic minorities, disabled people and LGBT+ people, there are many challenges still to overcome. There is increasing hostility towards women and minority groups – especially online – and reports of hate crimes are on the rise, including a big spike in the number of hate crimes following the 2016 Brexit vote. We are committed to combatting this type of discrimination, promoting equality and tackling hate crime.
The EU sets a minimum standard for protection against discrimination on the grounds of gender, gender identity, race, disability and sexuality. States that violate these protections must face sanctions.
Liberal Democrats will keep campaigning against prejudice and discrimination against LGBT+ people throughout Europe and the world. We will continue to urge all European Union countries to offer asylum to those fleeing persecution because of their sexuality or gender identity. We are committed to championing the cause of equal marriage and ensuring that same-sex marriages are recognised across the EU. We would mirror other EU states by introducing an “X” gender option on passports.
Gender-based violence and sexual harassment remains a huge problem in contemporary society and we are committed to tackling it. Combatting violence against women and girls is a priority for us and we call for all EU member states, including the UK, to ratify and bring into law the Istanbul Convention. Women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights are human rights, and all women should have access to affordable, good-quality sexual and reproductive health care and services.
We are committed to promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls, and to working for the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making, regardless of gender.
All countries across the EU, including the UK, need to do more to promote better participation of women, disabled people and ethnic minority people in the labour market in order to benefit from their full economic potential. To make further progress, a continued assessment of the effectiveness of existing public policies and workplace practices is needed. Only with resolve and a continued focus can European countries ensure that the whole population enjoys equal treatment.
We strongly oppose all forms of racism, division of societies and hatred against human beings. Any form of violence against people on these grounds must be stopped. We want to work with European partners to strengthen the EU asylum system to protect those who are fleeing the horrors of war and persecution.
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