Istanbul Convention: No further delay in combatting violence against women

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The Istanbul Convention is the first legally-binding Treaty in Europe that criminalises different forms of violence against women including physical and psychological violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment and rape, stalking, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, forced abortion and forced sterilization. On the occasion of the first anniversary of the signing by the EU of the Istanbul Convention, ALDE Members called today on Austria who holds the next EU Council Presidency to find a political agreement with the those Member States that keep blocking the EU ratification of the Convention.

MEP Beatriz Becerra, Member of the Committee on Women’s Rights, said today:

“The Istanbul Convention was signed one year ago, yet some countries still haven’t ratified it or even threaten to withdraw from it. This is not only disappointing but simply unacceptable. Victims of gender-based crime and domestic violence have to have their rights protected — everywhere in the EU. I call on the remaining ten Member States to finally sign up for the fight against violence against women and girls.”

MEP Angelika Mlinar, Member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and the Civil Liberties Committee, sent a crystal clear message today in Plenary:

“Violence against women and girls is perhaps the most obvious manifestation of the deep imbalances in power in our societies. Only robust action can ensure women a life free from violence. For those member states still blocking its ratification I have a crystal clear message I urge you to stop spreading outrageous misinformation about the Convention and its content. Gender is not a threat, domestic violence is!”

Member of the Committee on women’s rights, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, added:

“We have to ask ourselves: Can a Member State that refuses to ratify the Istanbul convention still belong to the European Council? Gender based violence is one of the biggest problems we are facing in the EU. There are more deaths from domestic violence than from terrorism. We would need five days of silence to honour all the victims of gender based violence.”

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