GUE/NGL MEPs are celebrating today's vote in the LIBE and FEMM Committees to ratify the Council of Europe's Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

As the report awaits the final vote in the Parliament's plenary session in September, GUE/NGL MEPs are also calling for the EU to take the next step in implementing the Convention through a European Union Directive to address violence against women.

GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur on the FEMM Committee, Kostadinka Kuneva, comments:

“Today, with the adoption of the Interim Report on Istanbul Convention by the FEMM and LIBE Committees, we take another step forward in breaking the silence around violence against women and girls. What the report makes clear is that violence against women and girls is a political issue.”

“Ratifying and implementing the Istanbul Convention should be a top priority for all because violence against women and girls breaches fundamental human rights. And it is high time for the EU and member states to finally take responsibility on this issue via a cohesive and holistic EU strategy on combating violence against women, gender-based and domestic violence to ensure that women and girls across Europe will live their lives free from violence and fear, while their physical and mental integrity is protected.

“If we desire a society and culture of peace, violence must be eliminated. No one should be a victim, no one should be a perpetrator, but, above all, no one should be bystander. Now is the time for action!” remarks the Greek MEP.

GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur on the LIBE Committee, Malin Björk, adds:

“I warmly welcome the adoption of this report. It is the result of decades of hard work by women´s rights organisations and the MEPs of the GUE/NGL group.”

“The former chair of the FEMM Committee and my predecessor, Eva-Britt Svensson, intensified the work on violence against women in the FEMM Committee and brought it to the EU political agenda. I am proud to be part of this achievement today!

“Now we must continue our struggle for a European Union Directive to address violence against women. The EU needs to develop its own legislative framework and it needs to put more funding and resources into combating violence against women.

“It is an issue so fundamental to equality and human rights that by not doing so, it is actually failing half of the EU’s population,” concludes the Swedish MEP.

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