Activists demand Government and Parliament to ratify the Istanbul Convention disregarding the church’s opinion

21 September 2017, 11:08 | Religion and society | view photo | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

 In the center of the capital, in the government quarter, the activists were holding the procession "Together for Peace Against Violence!". At 8:30 AM the participants began a rally near the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

The protesters demand that the Government set up at the local level the networks of specialized institutions for victims of domestic violence.

According to the participants of the movement, such institutions are currently absent in the Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Poltava, Kharkiv and Kherson regions.

An hour later, the protesters moved to the building of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine. They demand that parliamentarians ratify the Istanbul Convention on the Elimination of Domestic Violence.

In particular, the following slogans were also heard in the protest: “Ukraine is a secular state” and “Listen not only to the Council of Churches, hear the voices of victims of violence.”

The problem of domestic violence is widespread in Ukraine. In 2016, 38,547 calls were received from the National hotline for the prevention of domestic violence, trafficking of human beings and gender discrimination, supported by La Strada-Ukraine, of which 90.1% involve domestic violence.

During the first half of 2017, 15,512 calls were received, 95.4% of which are associated with domestic violence. During consultations on the hot-line, the victims repeatedly raise questions about providing them with a safe place of residence, access to justice, the omission of police and punishment of the offender for actions committed, etc.

This event is part of the European campaign StepUp, launched in May 2016 by the European Network of Women Against Violence WAVE. WAVE member organizations in Ukraine: NGO La Strada-Ukraine, Women's Information and Advisory Center, City Crisis Center, National Council of Women of Ukraine, Health rights and ICF Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health, Center for Social and Gender Studies, as well as the Interfaction Association “Equal Opportunities” have joined this campaign.

As reported, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations is against the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. Religious leaders are concerned about the introduction of the gender ideology in the legislative field of Ukraine.

Now, the “gender” is suggested not to be understood as gender - female and male, but as "socially assigned roles, behavior, activities and characteristics that a particular society considers appropriate for women and men.”

These fears are supported by the fact that the Convention guarantees protection against discrimination on the basis of “gender identity” and “sexual orientation,” which makes the concept of “gender” dependent not on natural sexual characteristics but on self-identification of a person. As a result, the concepts of “gender”, “gender equality”, “gender policy", “gender legal expertise” in the legislation of Ukraine can be interpreted due to the Istanbul Convention not in the sense of equality of women and men, but in the interests of those who identify themselves like women or men.

Such an approach, in the opinion of the AUCCRFO, can make the Istanbul Convention an instrument for popularizing new gender roles and same-sex relationships in Ukrainian schools and universities, which would be a disastrous path for Ukraine.

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