Our new prime minister has the opportunity to lead the way on violence against women and girls - both in the UK and on the global stage.
The Istanbul Convention sets minimum standards for governments to meet when tackling violence against women. When a government ratifies the Convention, they are legally bound to follow it. By ratifying the Convention the UK will have to take all necessary steps it sets out to prevent violence, protect women experiencing violence and prosecute perpetrators. The UK Government will also have to ensure that there is sufficient monitoring of violence against women.
Ratifying the Istanbul Convention represents a lasting national commitment to tackling violence against women and an increase women’s safety in the UK. We want to see the government publish a timeline for the UK to ratify the convention. Ratification of the Istanbul Convention will mean that women and girls in the UK will be guaranteed the right to live lives free from violence and the fear of violence.
Rebecca Bunce of the IC Change campaign, which has worked alongside major women’s organisations since November 2014 to speed the UK Government’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, says: “We have been encouraged that during Theresa May’s time at the Home Office we saw significant changes to our laws to ensure we comply with the Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women, including laws on psychological violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). Now we need to finish this work. We need a clear timetable for completion.”