Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, S&Ds are calling on member states to ratify the Istanbul Convention without further delay and to speed up the negotiations to allow the European Union to ratify it as well.


Parliament’s co-rapporteur on the Istanbul Convention, S&D MEP Christine Revault d'Allonnes-Bonnefoy, and S&D Group spokesperson for women’s rights and gender equality, MEP Iratxe García Pérez, stated:


“One out of three women in Europe has been victim of sexual or physical violence. One out 20 has been raped, and more than 50% of women have been harassed. The numbers go on and on. Every day millions of women are falling victim of violence simply because they are women. This must stop!


“On 13 June 2017 the EU signed the Istanbul Convention as a first historic step for all women across the Union. However, one year and a half on from the signature, little has been done and the European Council is dragging its feet.


“It is a disgrace that not all member states seem to understand the importance of the issue and the necessity to take action to eliminate gender-based violence. Every week in Europe, 50 women die because of domestic violence. How many more women need to die in order for Europe to act?


“The recent backlashes on women’s rights and fierce opposition to the ratification are unacceptable. We call on member states to deliver on their commitment to safeguard the dignity of all women and girls in the EU by ratifying the Istanbul Convention without further delay.


“Eliminating violence against women is about ensuring equality. Failing to ratify the Convention that will protect them is failing women facing violence and domestic abuse! We are clear: Member states must stop hiding behind legalistic tricks and excuses and need to ratify the Convention. We owe European women and girls a better future.”

Note to editors

All EU countries have signed the Istanbul Convention, but eight member states have yet to ratify it, namely: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.

The Istanbul Convention is the most comprehensive international treaty and the first legally binding instrument aiming at preventing and combating violence against women, including physical, psychological, and domestic violence.




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