© Università degli Studi di Padova - Credits: HCE Web agency
On May 28th, 2013, the Chamber of Deputies has uninamously approved (545 votes on 545) the bill for the ratification and the execution of the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, adopted in Istanbul on May 11th, 2011. The aim of the bill, which is now under the examination of the Senate, is to finalise the commitment of Italy towards this international instrument, signed by the Country on September 27th, 2012.
As of today, only four Countries are party to the Convention: Montenegro, Albania, Turkey and Portugal. To come into effect, the Convention needs the ratification of at least 10 countries, including 8 from Council of Europe’s Member States.
The Istanbul Convention is the first legally binding international instrument which creates a complete legal framework for the protection of women against any form of violence. The Convention is composed of 81 articles aimed at opposing all forms of physical e psychological violence against women, from stalking to rape and from forced marriages to genital mutilations. Its other aim is to strengthen the commitment on all levels of governance on the issue of prevention while eliminating all form of discrimination and promoting “substantive equality between women and men, including by empowering women”.
Among its goals, the Convention establishes “a comprehensive framework, policies and measures for the protection of and assistance to all victims of violence”; “to promote international co-operation”; “to provide support and assistance to organisations and law-enforcement agencies to effectively co-operate”.
The Convention also requires States to establish “one or more official bodies responsible for the coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and measures to prevent and combat all forms of violence”. In ratifying the Convention, States finally committ to carry out every efforts in order to “promote changes in the social and cultural patterns of behaviour of women and men with a view to eradicating prejudices, customs, traditions and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority of women or on stereotyped roles for women and men”. A goal that could be reached involving both the public and private sector, the media and the schools.