Why it’s important?
From the ICChange website: “The Istanbul Convention…is the most comprehensive legal framework that exists to tackle violence against women and girls.”
The Convention sets minimum standards for governments across the global to meet to protect women and girls against violence. The ratification of the Istanbul Convention (IC) in the UK would mean that our government would be legally bound to uphold the convention, forcing them to take necessary steps to PREVENT violence, PROTECT those experiencing violence and PROSECUTE perpetrators. This would mean a lasting, national commitment to the safety of women and girls experiencing violence, it would mean real change.
The Istanbul Convention has been given the ‘gold standard’ by UN Women and deemed ‘ground-breaking’ by the Human Rights Watch.
Countries that have already ratified the Istanbul Convention:
• Albania • Andorra • Austria • Belgium • Bosnia and Herzegovina • Denmark • France • Italy • Malta • Monaco • Montenegro • Portugal • Serbia • Slovenia • Spain • Sweden • Turkey
Why we need to ask our MPs to vote
This Friday, 16th December, our MPs are voting on the law that will decide whether or not the Istanbul Convention gets ratified in the UK. However, at least 100 MPs need to be present for the Bill to pass onto the next stage. As the vote is taking place on a Friday, and the last Parliamentary session before the holidays, most MPs will be in their local constituencies at this time, and less likely to show up to the debate.
Because of this, it’s important for us to campaign/write to our local MPs to get them to attend the debate for the Private Members Bill on Friday.
This debate could lead us to having a government that has a practical and legal framework to protect women and girls from violence. It could lead to the creation of more adequate refuges and women’s shelters, the funding for women’s services, 24-hour helplines and specialist services.
All the co-founders have emailed their MP, as this is an issue close to all of our hearts. This is a Bill that is vitally important to women everywhere, but especially to disabled women. Being 3.7% more likely to experience violence and abuse in our lifetimes compared to able-bodied women, these measures are vital for us and could be life changing.
DSU have created a template for anyone to use to email their MP about this matter. You can find that here: Istanbul Convention MP Template
If you have the energy to, create some noise on social media too, use the hashtags: #StandByMe #ChangeHerStory #IstanbulConvention
And if you are wondering how to find your MPs email, take a look here: http://www.ukpolitical.info/Finder.htm