The accession of the European Union to the Istanbul Convention against violence against women is a “key priority”, says the European Commission. An announcement on the occasion of the International Day against Gender Violence when there are still many efforts to be made and in the midst of a pandemic that has complicated the situation.
Eva Fodor, professor of gender studies and co-director of the Institute of Democracy of the Central European University (CEU) believes that “we cannot do enough to protect women against violence, especially in a context in which this type of violence it is increasing due to the pandemic and, again, especially in a context where many governments refuse to do much about it “
Although the EU has advocated a progressive policy, many countries in the bloc have been criticized for failing to respect international standards on women’s rights.
The burden of conservative countries
“Some countries have taken a step back. Hungary, Poland and Turkey are examples of this. The Hungarian government has refused to ratify the Istanbul Convention and Poland has withdrawn“, explains Fodor.
Adopted in 2011 by the Council of Europe, the Istanbul Convention is the first international treaty to establish legally binding standards. But the text is being questioned in several conservative states.
The professor assures that “the Hungarian government has not done much to increase equality between men and women, in fact the government refuses to recognize the concept of gender and affirms that this is one of the reasons why they have also rejected the agreement from Istanbul. They argue that there is no gender difference, that there is only a biological difference between men and women, and they use this excuse not to support the gender equality measures of the European Union and not to implement other regulations that could protect women “
In the European Union, some 50 women are murdered every week at the hands of their partners or ex-partners, according to data from the European Parliament.
As part of the United Nations campaign, iconic buildings and places around the world will be illuminated in orange to raise awareness of the goal of a future without violence.