Turkey’s sudden and unwarranted withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, is deeply disappointing. Around the world, we are seeing increases in the number of domestic violence incidents, including reports of rising femicide in Turkey, the first nation to sign the convention. Countries should be working to strengthen and renew their commitments to ending violence against women, not rejecting international treaties designed to protect women and hold abusers accountable. This is a disheartening step backward for the international movement to end violence against women globally.
Gender-based violence is a scourge that touches every nation in every corner of the world. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen too many examples of horrific and brutal assaults on women, including the tragic murders in Georgia. And we’ve seen the broader damage that living under the daily specter of gender-based violence does to women everywhere. It hurts all of us, and we all must do more to create societies where women are able to go about their lives free from violence.