The European Union countries approved on Tuesday the first-ever bloc-wide laws aimed at combating violence against women, as announced by the European Parliament and officials.
The law aims to protect women in the 27 member states from gender-based violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and online harassment.
The European Commission proposed the comprehensive legislation on March 8, 2022, on the occasion of International Women's Day.
Member of Parliament Frances Fitzgerald told reporters in Strasbourg: "The announcement sends a clear message across the Union that we take violence against women seriously."
"It is a directive that the women and girls all across the European Union have asked for for over 30 years," another lawmaker, Evin Incir of Sweden, said.
"For the first time ever, we criminalise widespread forms of cyberviolence, such as non-consensual sharing of intimate images," Vera Jourova, European Commission vice president for values and transparency, said on social media.
The text criminalizes online harassment and incitement to hatred or violence within the EU.
The Commission will be required to conduct a review every five years to determine whether updates to the rules are necessary.