Violence against women is a plight which does not spare any country in the world. It is a form of discrimination and a human rights violation which will affect one in four women in Europe.
In 2011, the Council of Europe set itself as a standard-setting leader in the area of violence against women, by opening for signature the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention).
In 2013, the choice of “violence against women and girls” as the main theme of the meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 57) has polarised general, media and political attention around this topic and created the conditions for a greater commitment to eradicate this plight.
To date, 26 Council of Europe member States have signed the Istanbul Convention and 3 have ratified it. The Parliamentary Assembly should urge Council of Europe member States to speed up the ratification of the Convention, so that it can enter into force and start to have an impact on the lives of thousands of women. At the same time, the Assembly should strengthen its activities to promote the Convention amongst the general public, and initiate activities to build the capacity of national parliamentarians to monitor the implementation of the Istanbul Convention at national level.
Furthermore, the Assembly should recommend to the Committee of Ministers to allocate adequate resources and rationalise its activities in the area of violence against women, recognising them as a political priority and developing them along four axes: awareness-raising amongst the general public, co-operation projects, promotion and monitoring of the Istanbul Convention. Finally, the Assembly should recommend modalities for its involvement in such activities, including in the procedure for monitoring the implementation of the Convention.