Ireland criticised for not ratifying 2015 convention on violence against women
Ireland has yet to ratify a major international convention combating violence against women, despite signing up to it in 2015.
The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, provides a comprehensive framework to tackle violence against women.
It was signed by Ireland in November 2015 but has not yet been ratified.
The Irish Observatory on Violence Against Women, an independent network of 18 grassroots and national organisations, has called on the Government to ratify the convention at a seminar in Dublin.
One in five women experience domestic abuse in Ireland. Nine out of 10 women are killed by someone known to them. Figures point to 56% of victims dying at the hands of a partner or ex-partner.
Orla O’Connor, director of the National Women’s Coun- cil of Ireland and chair of the Irish Observatory on Violence Against Women, said while there had been progress among Government and State agencies with respect to tackling violence against women, failing to ratify the convention was a missed opportunity.
“Implementing the Istanbul Convention is an opportunity to bring about the systematic and institutional change needed to facilitate the protection of women and the accountability of perpetrators, and is critical if we are to match our response to the scale and the complexity of violence against women,” said Ms O’Connor.
“It is no longer acceptable for women to receive such a weak State response to the scale of the issue and to the different experiences of the most disadvantaged groups of women.”
Mary-Louise Lynch of Intimate Abuse Intervention said this year had seen “an avalanche of women” sharing their stories and experiences of abuse and control, with a wave of women speaking out both internationally and in Ireland.
“It is crucial that survivor experience influences and shapes policy and practice with state agencies responsible for tackling intimate abuse and violence against women and children,” said Ms Lynch.