EWL News

Loud & United conference "Istanbul Convention: What policies transform commitment into reality?"

[Brussels, 15 November 2017] The European Women’s Lobby has the pleasure to invite you to a Conference on “Istanbul Convention: what policies transform commitment into reality?” at the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany on December 6th 2017, from 14h to 17h30.

You can register to participate in the event here.

EWLLoud United Event 6 December 2017

Despite progress over the last decades on equality between women and men there is not a single country in the world where women and girls are free from male violence. We still have a long way to go to ensure that women and girls can live a life free from violence in the EU where one in three women in the EU (62 million women) have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15 and every second woman has experienced sexual harassment. Women and girls trapped in prostitution markets, are victims of female genital mutilation, and face street harassment every day (See EWL Factsheet on Disrupting the continuum of violence against women and girls).

Violence against women exists, it is not abstract and women are speaking out about it. As the #MeToo movement has emphasised, it’s time for action. Women’s voices are too loud and too many to be ignored any longer! Let’s continue to disrupt the silence and the indifference!

Now is the moment to take stock of the latest developments at EU and at Member State level. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention, entered into force 4 years ago, being the most comprehensive treaty on this issue and a key tool to improve legislation and policies. However, at present only 17 EU member states have ratified it and more progress is needed to ensure that its provisions are implemented across Europe. At EU Level, there have been important steps in relation to ratification of the Istanbul Convention by the EU and the declaration of 2017 as EU year of focused action to end violence against women.

It is crucial that women’s organisations continue to monitor these progresses and to ensure that commitments are transformed into a reality!

The concrete purpose of the event is to raise awareness on violence against women and girls and highlight the significance of the Istanbul Convention. EWL Observatory experts and academics will highlight the key challenges in combatting violence against women and in implementing the Istanbul Convention. Two forms of violence will be specifically analysed: violence against migrant and refugee women and digital violence against women. Right after, we will conduct an exchange with key CoE and EU decision makers where we will bring the EWL demands. Several members of the European Coalition to end violence against women will also be highlighting their different initiatives to promote the Istanbul Convention and address different forms of violence against women. The event will finish with an inspiring slam poetry performance.

The event will mark the end of a campaign coordinated lead by EWL members which will run from the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women on 25th November to International Human Rights day on the 10th of December.

EWL Observatory Experts, NGO’s, civil society, women’s rights organisations and representatives of the Council and Europe and EU Institutions will all be present and we call on your participation for this important event!

You can already engage by signing this petition calling for action at EU level to make Europe a safe space for women and girls: https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/womens-rights

This EWL Conference is part of the “Loud & United to end violence against women and girls” project, a joint initiative with the Council of Europe that benefits from the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

This event also acts as a follow-up to the International Conference “Loud and United to end violence against women and girls” organised by the EWL in June 2017 in Brussels city hall. See a brief video with our key messages here.

**** This event will be livestreamed online via EWL youtube channel and EWL Facebook page. ****

AGENDA 14:00 – 17:30

Registrations from 14h to 14h20. Only for those registered. Your ID will be requested.

14h30 Welcome words by
• Ms Laura Albu, European Women’s Lobby Executive Committee Member.
• Ambassador Reinhard Silberberg, Ambassador of Germany to the EU (tbc)

14h45 Panel 1: “Highlights on the standards and the implementation of the Istanbul Convention at national and EU level”
Moderator: Isabel Ventura, EWL Observatory expert, Portugal
Speakers & Topics of Discussion:
• Ms Gwendolyn Sterk, EWL Observatory Expert
-  Analysis on the situation of VAWG in Europe and highlights on the Istanbul Convention as a tool to address VAW and make progress
• Ms Salome Mbgua, EWL Observatory Expert, European Network of Migrant Women
-  The Istanbul convention as a tool to prevent violence against refugee and migrant women and protect its victims.
• Ms Essa Reijmers, EWL Observatory expert, the Netherlands
-  Digital violence against women and girls and the added value of the Istanbul Convention as a tool to prevent and combat
• Ms Sara de Vido, Vice-Director of Centre for Human Rights and Assistant Professor of International Law at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
-  The ratification of the Istanbul Convention by the EU: A step forward in the protection of women from violence in the European legal system.

BREAK from 15h30 to 15h45

15h50 Panel 2: Speaking truth to power: Exchange with key EU decision-makers
Moderator: Ms Joanna Maycock, Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby
Speakers:

  • Dr. Ralf Kleindiek, State Secretary for Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Germany
  • Ms. Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Member of the European Parliament (tbc)
  • Ms. Irena Moozova, Director of Equality and Union Citizenship, DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission
  • Ms. Carolina Lasen Díaz, Head of Gender Equality Unite, Council of Europe

16h50 Rally: Initiatives on VAWG and the Istanbul Convention at EU level
Moderator: Jean-Ann Ndow, EWL Observatory expert WAGGGS, member of the EU Coalition to end violence against women and girls
Presentations by 4 members of the European Coalition to end Violence Against Women:

17h15 Concluding remarks by
• Ms. Carolina Lasen Díaz, Head of Gender Equality Unit, Council of Europe
• Ms. Iliana Balabanova-Stoicheva, Vice-President European Women’s Lobby

17h25 Slam Poet performance by Anissa Boujdaini

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