NGO Advocates against Ratification of Istanbul Convention

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ZAGREB, February 10, 2018 – The civic initiative “Let Us Protect Women – Reject Ideology” has called on launching a broad public discussion involving all stakeholders in society on pros and cons for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. The initiative on Saturday called on the ruling party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), to organise this debate.

The initiative also believes that in order to introduce the term gender ideology, it might be necessary to amend the Constitution.

The civic initiative says that it is unacceptable that in a democracy substantiated arguments against the ratification of the convention are “maliciously depicted” as an attempt to ignore the fight against violence against women or that those arguments are labelled as attempts of “ultraconservative interest groups” to abrogate mechanisms for the protection of women’s human rights.

The civic initiative alluded to a protest organised by several NGOs in Zagreb earlier on Saturday under the slogan “Handmaids rise for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention”.

In early October 2017, the civic initiative organised a protest rally in Split against the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. The protesters at that rally said that the document, along with the protection of women from family violence, introduced gender ideology “as a wrong definition of a person’s identity and it promotes abortion as a positive social appearance.”

The protesters carried banners reading “I want to be a boy and not it”, “I am a father, not parent 1,” “I want to be a girl, not it,” “I am a mother, not parent 2,” “Mother, not a pregnant person,” etc. The protesters then called on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to reject the convention, saying that only 14 EU member states have ratified it. They also hold that the convention would not improve the status of women.

This civic initiative says that it supports every effort aimed at prevention of violence against women and the prevention of domestic violence, whereas it criticises attempts of those who claim that they are more sensitive to the position of women than others.


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