WAVE Statement on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 11th May 2021

For the full WAVE Statement on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 11th May 2021, please click here.

For the full speaking notes of WAVE President Marcella Pirrone that were presented at the Online Conference “Gender equality and the Istanbul Convention: a decade of action”, please click here.

[…] On the 10th anniversary of the Istanbul Convention WAVE, together with its 160 members in 46 European countries, celebrates this major women’s human rights treaty, which ensures women’s right to live free from violence, like no other legal framework currently in existence. WAVE members are primarily women’s specialist support services, such as women’s shelters, telephone-helplines and centres that provide various forms of support such aslegal, psychological, practical, housing, financial, medical, specialist support for children etc. The Istanbul Convention is an important instrument to defend women’s human rights, which sets gold standards in preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. […] Unfortunately, we also have to face the fact that there are several shortcomings in implementing the Istanbul Convention. And even more alarming, we have witnessed a growing backlash against women’s rights and gender equality. Some organized networks have campaigned in particular against women’s sexual and reproductive rights, while also promoting discrimination and violence against LGBTI people with practical consequences in some Member States. Preventing and combating violence against women remains a burning issue. The ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention remains incomplete or at risk of backsliding. The nature, intensity and effects of the backlash against women’s rights have varied among countries and regions, in some cases remaining at the level of rhetoric that appropriates the language of human rights, while in others it has been concretised into measures and initiatives. Stopping the backlash needs strong political will and united action from the civil society, states and the EU. The best way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the IC is to stand up together and decisively make IC a binding, living instrument that affects the lives of all women in Europe. To effectively prevent and tackle male violence against women it is vital that both policies and legislation clearly acknowledge that violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women.