It's time to end violence against women
WE have been working towards the ratification of the Istanbul Convention since our earliest days as a party and included the Convention in our first policy document. Since then, WE have worked tirelessly alongside the IC Change campaign and other partners, to call for this legal framework to be ratified.
During our first party conference in November 2016, WE lit the building up orange to remember the 582 women killed in the four years in which the government has failed to ratify the Convention. Inside a red phonebox, conference delegates phoned, emailed and tweeted their MPs to ask that they turn up and vote on 16 December.
Now for one final push. Our branches are contacting their MPs once again to ensure that they show up and vote on Friday 24 February.
Our branches have worked with their members to amplify these efforts with scores of members contacting their local MPs within a couple of days, proving very difficult to ignore.
WE continue to work on the wider remit of the Istanbul Convention, acting to prevent violence against women and girls. Our commitment to mandatory Sex and Relationships Education in all schools and our work to strength the laws on revenge porn are just two examples of our recent campaigns.
The Istanbul Convention is the strongest legal framework for tackling violence against women and girls. It forces our government to prevent violence, protect women and prosecute perpetrators.
We need your help to make sure that happens.
Contact your MP now to ask them to show up and vote on Friday 24 February.
Meet your MP
A really effective way to make sure your MP is on board is to talk to them. You can meet your MP at Parliament or in their constituency office.
If you are meeting your MP at Parliament, you will need to enter the Houses of Parliament by passing through the security check at the Cromwell Green entrance. At busy times, this could take up to 20 minutes.
If you have pre‐arranged to meet your MP at a specific time but not a specific location then head for the information desk in the central lobby and say that you have arrived to see your MP. Make sure you bring any written confirmation of your meeting.
Green Card your MP
If you have not arranged to meet your MP it is still possible to show up at Parliament and ask to see them. You will need to queue at the information desk in the central lobby where you can collect and fill in a green card. Please note you can only lobby your own MP and you will need to know their name. Complete the green card and hand it back to the information desk - they will be able to let you know if your MP is not at the House of Commons.
Even if your MP is unavailable they will be notified that you have requested a meeting and will have to respond to you in due course.
If the information desk does manage to contact your MP be prepared to wait for a while. When your MP arrives make sure you are prepared to talk to them about why the Istanbul Convention is so important.
You can also download IC Change's campaign board, take a picture and show your support.
Learn more about the Istanbul Convention
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. So, if the UK Government ratified the Istanbul Convention, it will have to take all necessary steps set out to prevent violence, protect women and prosecute perpetrators. The UK Government will also have to ensure that there is sufficient monitoring of violence against women.
Ratifying the Istanbul Convention will mean a lasting national commitment to tackling violence against women and will increase women’s safety in the UK. It is a pragmatic law that translates into real actions. Ratification of the Istanbul Convention will mean that women and girls in the UK will be guaranteed the right to live free from violence and the fear of violence.
In the five years the UK Government has failed to ratify the Convention, 616 women have lost their lives to gender based violence. This has to stop.
UN Women have named the Istanbul Convention ‘a gold standard’ for tackling violence against women. Human Rights Watch have called it ‘ground-breaking’. And it has already won awards for its effectiveness.
Some of the countries that have already ratified the Istanbul Convention are: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.
The Istanbul Convention helps guarantee that vital services don't disappear. This infrastructure will allow women to thrive, rather than fight to survive.