European & International News

EU signs the Istanbul Convention and commits to end violence against women and girls

[Strasboug, 13 June 2017] Today, the EU sent a very strong political message on its commitment to end violence against women and girls by signing the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention. The Maltese Presidency and the European Commission, represented by Ms. Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, signed the Istanbul Convention on behalf of the EU in Strasbourg.

The European Women’s Lobby (EWL), and the EWL Observatory on violence against women and girls warmly welcomes this major step in the EU’s action to combat all forms of violence against women. You can read our EWL statement on the EU decision to sign the Istanbul Convention in this link.

EU’s signature comes five days after the European Women’s Lobby Conference and demonstration #LoudUnited to end violence against women and girls on the 8 June in Brussels. At these events, the EWL and WeMove Europe delivered a handbook to Estonian Presidency with more than 105.000 citizen’s signatures collected via the petition "Rise up against violence!" which calls on the EU for a timely and broad ratification of the Istanbul Convention and concrete actions to end violence against women and girls.

The EU signature is the first achievement in the process of the EU becoming a party to the Istanbul Convention. Together with the 2000 EWL members, and with the European coalition to end violence against women and girls, the EWL will actively watch out the negotiations of the EU Code of Conduct towards the EU’s ratification of the Istanbul convention. The EWL calls on the EU member states to commit to implement the Istanbul Convention and walk the talk. These are the EWL demands:

  • The recognition, by the EU and its Member States, of all forms of male violence against women as part of a continuum of violence against women because they are women;
  • The ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention by the EU and all EU member states;
  • An EU strategy and directive criminalising all forms of male violence against women and girls, and providing assistance and support to all women and girls victims;
  • An EU coordinator to end violence against women and girls, within the umbrella of the European Commission’s work on equality between women and men;
  • Systematic consultation of and sustainable funding for women’s organisations providing support to women and girls victims, and developing advocacy and awareness raising campaigns, at EU, national and local level.

The EWL has been calling for an EU action to end violence against women for 20 years. Now we are happy to see change coming. We expect now is real change, not just a reform.

Read more and find more pictures of the EU’s signature to the Istanbul Convention:

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Loud and United to end violence against women and girls, European Women’s Lobby Conference, 6 December 2017, Brussels.

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