The UK has still not ratified the Istanbul Convention, despite signing a commitment to do so six years ago
Ridding the world of gender inequality will, I believe, curb the increase in intimate abuse. I want to live in a world where no one is shamed because of their body, the money they earn or their perceived gender. The Istanbul Convention is the vehicle for tackling gender inequality, and that's why I support it.
Dear Steve Brine MP, I am writing to you today to implore you to vote for Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP's Private Member's Bill (PMB) on Friday 16 December, looking to oblige the UK government to make the Istanbul Convention law.
The good news is we now know that Jeremy Corbyn does actually support the ratification of the Istanbul Convention (provided he gets to do it himself and scoop some gender-friendly brownie points) but the bad news is, he's not going to whip his MPs to support the Bill on Friday, which may or may not be due to the fact it has been proposed by a member of the SNP, during the course of a Tory Government.
In June 2012, the UK government signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention. But years later it still has yet to ratify the convention, which would bring into legal force measures, among others, requiring the UK to protect from and prevent violence against women, and to prosecute perpetrators who are nationals or resident in the UK - wherever they commit the act of violence... The longer the government drags its feet on ratifying the Istanbul Convention, the longer it seems to send the message that it is happier to pay lip service to the problem than actually taking concrete steps to solve it.
But we have come too far to go backwards. We have woken to the notion that consent and respect must be entrenched in the way we treat both girls and boys from the very beginnings. And whether it is in media, in schools, in our homes, or on the streets, we must all speak out loudly against the small, 'harmless' transgressions that ultimately put women at risk. We must not return to slumber.
This is an opportunity for concrete action to combat gendered violence, an opportunity to move forward in the fight to make sure that all women and girls live free from violence in the UK. We must all ask our MPs to be there, and to vote to ratify the Convention.
One of the great achievements of the UK Parliament is the cross-party support for ending violence against women. The UK is considered a leader in the fight for women's rights on the world stage. In 2014, for example, the UK hosted three major international summits to highlight injustices against women: on FGM, sexual violence and forced marriages. Yet something is missing from the UK's claim as a major player in the fight for gender equality. The Council of Europe's Convention on Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (the "Istanbul Convention"), arguably the most progressive international treaty for women's rights, remains unratified by the UK.
David Cameron has been accused of “stalling” over agreeing a Europe-wide convention to tackle violence against women and
Between 2012-2013, the Forced Marriage Unit dealt with 1302 forced marriage cases involving 74 different countries. Many more suffer in silence, hidden away from society by their spouses and extended family.