In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Croatia published today, Commissioner Muižnieks strongly encourages the authorities to move quickly forward on their path towards the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (‘Istanbul Convention’).
He also underscores the importance of eliminating misconceptions about this Convention in public discourse in Croatia, in particular concerning the use of the term “gender”.
“Some critics may acknowledge that violence against women is a problem, but wish to prevent governments from challenging traditional gender roles and stereotypes, due to a cultural affirmation that men and women should play very different roles in public life and within the family. This approach limits women to the stereotypical role of mothers, giving birth and staying at home to rear children. The critics go as far as to argue that the Istanbul Convention should not be ratified because it would endanger societies based on traditional families. This is a fallacious claim: all the measures provided for by the Istanbul Convention reinforce family foundations and ties by preventing and combating violence, which represents one of the main causes of destruction of families.”