This week, the EWL member organisations have also started to held the events under the slogan: Act against rape! Use the Istanbul Convention! 30 events that are going to take place all over Europe around the 16 days of activism against violence against women (25 November-10 December).
On the 18th November 2013, the French Coordination of the European Women’s Lobby (CLEF) held in Paris the first event of the series: a European Conference on the topic of rape and to present the EWL Barometer on rape in Europe 2013.
In France, official surveys show that 198,000 women between 18-59 years old are victims of actual rape or attempted rape (2005-2006 CVS by INSEE-OND) (EWL Barometer on rape in Europe 2013).
The French Coordination for the European Women’s Lobby reasserts that sexual violence should be combated with no delay and calls for France, which signed the Istanbul Convention in May 2011, to ratify it as soon as possible and too take the necessary legislative measures to bring the French law into conformity with the requirements of the Convention of the Council of Europe. the CLEF press release can be downloaded in french here.
The second event of the series “Act against rape! Use the Istanbul Convention!” was organised by the Bulgarian National Coordination of the European Women´s Lobby (the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation) on the 22 of November at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
In Bulgaria, marital rape is not criminalised and the perpetrator has the possibility to avoid sanction if he marries the women victim before the sentence is carried out (EWL Barometer on rape in Europe 2013).
Bulgarian Platform of the European Women’s Lobby (BWL) together with the Aliance for Protection against Domestic Violence (APDV) lunched 16 days Campaign on 22 of November in Sofia. More than 60 women holding balloons and a big poster started the Campaign in front of the Bulgarian Parliament demonstrating for urgent ratification of the Istanbul Convention.
The Bulgarian National Coordinator of Women’s Lobby is demanding the urgent signature, ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention.
On the same date, after the demonstration, BWL and APDV held in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The event was opened by Lazar Lazarov, Deputy Minister of the Labour and Social Policy. The Deputy Minister of Justice, Ms. Sabrie Sapundjieva congratulated the initiative and sent an official letter to the organizers. A presentation of the Barometer 2013 focusing on Bulgarian situation has been done by Iliana Balabanova-Stoycheva, Coordinator of the Bulgarian Platform and National expert in the EWL Observatory against VAW. Genoveva Tisheva, Chair of APDV presented the Istanbul Convention as a tool for eliminating VAW and Irina Ivanova, Chief Expert in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs presented Plan of the Republic of Bulgaria to implement recommendation of the CEDAW Committee in relation to violence against women. Finally, the event was closed by inviting all participants to sign the petition to the Bulgarian authorities to ratify the CoE Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The program of the event in Bulgarian and English can be downloaded here.
The BWL and APDV disseminated among the participants brochures, postcards, stickers and calendar with fact and figures on rape and other form of violence against women.
After the event in Sofia several events were organized in several Bulgarian cities (Burgas, Plovdiv, Plevena, Plovdiv, Silistra, Veliko Tarnovo) by organisations members of the BWL and APDV.