Posted on 28. May 2011 in Work with Institutions

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted a historic convention on combating violence against women.

“This new landmark treaty of the Council of Europe opens the path for creating a legal framework at pan-European level to protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence., The Convention also establishes a specific monitoring mechanism in order to ensure effective implementation ofits provisions by the Parties.” says the CoE press release.

The document by itself is already historic and the broad range of women that is explicitly covered shows the willingness and also hard struggles of those around the tables. The convention states in Art. 3:

  1. The implementation of the provisions of this Convention by the Parties, in particular measures to protect the rights ofvictims, shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, gender, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, state of health, disability, marital status, migrant or refugee status, or other status.

In the explanatory report, the following reasoning and definition is given:

“Certain groups of individuals may also experience discrimination on the basis of their gender identity, which in simple terms means that the gender they identify with is not in conformity with the sex assigned to them at birth. This includes categories of individuals such as transgender or transsexual persons, cross-dressers, transvestites and other groups of persons that do not correspond to what society has established as belonging to “male” or “female” categories.”

An alliance of civil society NGOs has been ongoing made effort ensure that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is prominently addressed. Amongst those, we would like to thank especially ILGA-Europe for having consulted with TGEU early on and given us the opportunity throughout the process to contribute to this important document.

The Convention will come into force when at least 10 states have signed the convention.

Watch for your governments whether it will take the pen on May 11 in Istanbul or whether some special reminder and pressure from their concerned constituency is needed.