Violence against women is one of the most flagrant violations of human rights; an issue which concerns all countries in the world. It touches women from all walks of life, irrespective of cultural, religious, economic, social or geographical backgrounds. It happens everywhere: in the “safety” of their own homes, at work, in the streets and in the media among others. Every day, women are stalked, harassed, raped, mutilated, forced by their family to enter into a marriage, sterilised against their will or psychologically and physically abused. The examples of violence against women are endless, its victims countless. Many women are too afraid or ashamed to seek help, often paying for their silence with their lives. Those that do speak out are not always heard. With the adoption of the Istanbul Convention in 2011, the 47 member states of the Council of Europe made an important step towards the recognition of their responsibilities in addressing this concern.
The Side Event will present the added value of the Istanbul Convention in the framework of international and regional legally binding treaties. It will also highlight its significance as an efficient and practical tool for governments to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence in Europe and beyond.
Mr Gilbert Saboya Sunyé, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Andorra) and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, Council of Europe
Ms Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister for Women’s Rights and Government Spokesperson (France)
Ms Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women
Mr Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe
Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General, Council of Europe
Moderator: Ms Margaret Besheer, Voice of America, UN Correspondent