Response to Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

As per a presidential decree announced in the Official Gazette on March 20th, Turkey has withdrawn from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, commonly known as the Istanbul Convention. The Istanbul Convention was signed by the Government of the Republic of Turkey in 2011. It aims to protect women against femicide and all forms of (gender-based) violence and builds on the standards implemented in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
Currently, there is an active, multiple and organized resistance to the withdrawal from a multitude of voices of women and LGBTQI + activists. Women and LGBTQI+ identities are emphasising their visibility and taking a stand against femicide and gender-based violence. Women’s rights organizations in Turkey and beyond have protested the decision of the President and showed solidarity on social media platforms by using the Hashtag #IstanbulConventionSavesLives.
It should not be forgotten that violence against women is a violation of human rights and the Istanbul Convention is an international commitment based on human rights. Our call stands for reintroducing and implementing the Istanbul Convention and within this context the importance of the SDG 5 (“Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls") – which UNSA Vienna wholly supports – must be accentuated.

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