In 2011 an important development to combat violence against women in Lithuania occurred with the passage of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence. Adopted in May 2011 and entered into force in December 2011, this law was the first of its kind in Lithuania, which up until that point was one of only two European Union (EU) countries that did not have a domestic violence law. The law, which is discussed further in the “Domestic Violence” section, aims to define all forms of domestic violence more clearly and make it easier to prosecute perpetrators as well as provide support to victims and preventative measures. Another positive development was the election of Lithuania’s first female president in 2009. Dalia Grybauskaite, formerly the EU budget commissioner, ran as an independent. At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, Grybauskaite called for a global web-map to evaluate the state of human rights and particularly gender equality. She acknowledged the failure to implement many government plans related to women’s rights effectively and the important role of non-governmental organizations in advancing women’s issues.
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