We are delighted that MPs have voted to ratify the Istanbul Convention today and would like to congratulate Dr Eilidh Whiteford, Women’s Aid organisations and all the campaign groups for their tireless work on achieving this. We must remember that this is the first stage in a long process – there are many steps until the Bill is enshrined in UK law. However if it goes through the protection offered to women and girls will be unprecedented. The Convention ensures the adequate funding of women’s services and the strategic implementation of prevention to ensure that violence against women does not happen.
2016 has been a difficult year for feminist campaigners but the cross party support for the Istanbul Convention today in parliament was encouraging. We have a long way to go before we eradicate gender based violence completely, but this step by the government brings us ever closer to that goal.