This December there is a chance that MPs could vote for the strongest law the UK has ever seen to tackle violence against women and girls: the Istanbul Convention. The Convention is the most comprehensive legal framework that exists, outlining minimum standards for a State’s response to violence against women and girls. It covers prevention, protection, prosecution and monitoring.
The Istanbul Convention would guarantee urgently needed change to prevent and tackle violence against women. For example, it would protect funding for domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centres, and 24/7 helplines; ensure education on healthy relationships in schools; and guarantee awareness-raising campaigns. The UK Government has been promising to make the Istanbul Convention law since 2012. It has taken steps in this direction but it’s 2016 and we’re still waiting.
On 16 December, we have a unique opportunity to make sure the Government fulfils its promise to ratify the Istanbul Convention. Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP has introduced a Private Member’s Bill (PMB) which would require the UK Government to make the Istanbul Convention law in the UK - if successful. A Private Member’s Bill is a proposal to change the law, and like any other Bill it needs to be agreed by Parliament. This means that other MPs need to attend a debate about it and vote to support it. If 100 MPs turn up and vote on 16 December, it will pass to the next stage.
However, the 16 December is on a Friday morning - a time when many MPs would normally be in their local constituencies. That’s why it’s essential for each of us to contact our MPs and tell them why it’s so important to show up and support the Bill on 16 December.ting your post here. You can insert images and videos by clicking on the icons above.