Women's rights are human rights! Politicians and civil society now have to show a clear edge
Turkey, of all places, which was the first to sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention in 2014, is leaving the EU-wide agreement to protect women * from violence. The agreement seemed to Erdoğan only a means to power and has now been illegally terminated by him overnight due to the increasing pressure of his conservative supporters by means of an autocratic decree. Turkey is thus directed against the pillars of the Istanbul Convention: the prevention, protection, prosecution and condemnation of gender-based violence. Violence against women in Turkey is increasing steadily: According to information from “We will stop the murder of women”, at least 300 women * were murdered in the past year alone.
Turkey's illegal exit is part of the backlash against breaking gender roles - and an attack on the universal values of human rights
“Right-wing conservatives always act in the same way around the world and thus also in Europe: They instrumentalize religion, tradition, culture or family for their own purpose and trample on fundamental human rights. They refer to diversity and emancipatory movements as “gender gaga” in order to make nationalist politics together with right-wing allies ”, says Lourdes Martínez, board spokeswoman * and chairwoman * of DaMigra.
We are also seeing such a shift to the right in Poland and Hungary, for example. Poland recently tightened abortion rights to a near-total ban. At the end of last year, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's ruling Fidesz party spoke out against further steps to ratify the Istanbul Convention by calling for an alleged “destructive gender ideology”. Feminist struggles are directed against this.
“We therefore call on all members of democratic civil society to take a clear position against this violation of women * and human rights and to be loud. One thing must be clear: Fundamental human rights are being undermined and disregarded here. Internationally hard-won human and fundamental rights must not be made dependent on political calculation. Any government that does this will attack us too, ”explained Dr. Delal Atmaca, managing director of DaMigra eV
What should be done now?
It is time to present measures and binding action plans for the full implementation of the Istanbul Convention here in Germany as well. This role model function at the state and EU level also means that the German federal government finally lifts its reservations about Article 59 and thus also protects migrated or refugee women * in Germany from violence regardless of their residence status.
The illegal exit of Turkey and the threatened exit of Poland and Hungary are further attacks on the basis of the peaceful coexistence of all - human rights. It must not stop with statements of dismissal. Criticism at the diplomatic level on the part of the signatory states must be followed by the consistent, unconditional and unreserved implementation of the Istanbul Convention - also in Germany.
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