Biden condemns Turkey’s withdrawal from convention on domestic violence against women

Thousands protested in Turkey on Saturday after decision to withdraw by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was announced

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Sunday 21 March 2021 16:40
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President Joe Biden slammed Turkey's decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention combatting domestic violence and violence against women.

In a statement put out by the White House on Sunday, Mr Biden said that Turkey's "sudden and unwarranted withdrawal" was "deeply disappointing".

Mr Biden noted that we are seeing an increase in domestic violence and violence against women, "including reports of rising femicide in Turkey, the first nation to sign the convention".

He added that nations should be strengthening their commitments to work to end violence against women instead of leaving agreements "designed to protect women and hold abusers accountable".

"This is a disheartening step backward for the international movement to end violence against women globally," Mr Biden said.

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He added that "gender-based violence is a scourge that touches every nation in every corner of the world".

Mentioning the murders of women in Georgia, he said "in the past few weeks, we’ve seen too many examples of horrific and brutal assaults on women".

He concluded that violence against women "hurts all of us," and that everyone "must do more to create societies where women are able to go about their lives free from violence".

An analysis by the National Commission on Covid-19 and Criminal Justice showed that during lockdown imposed because of the pandemic, incidents of domestic violence rose by 8.1 per cent.

Studying domestic violence is made more difficult by the fact that much of it is not reported.

The chair of the University of Miami Department of Sociology, Alex Piquero, told CNN: "In my mind, I think that 8% is a floor and not a ceiling. I think the problem is actually worse than we actually know right now."

Thousands protested in Turkey on Saturday after the decision to withdraw by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was announced.

Marija Pejčinović Burić, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe said the move was "devastating".

“This move is a huge setback to these efforts and all the more deplorable because it compromises the protection of women in Turkey, across Europe and beyond,” she said according to France 24.

The full name of the convention is "the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence," and says that men and women have equal rights and calls on authorities to combat gender-based violence, protect victims and prosecute those committing violent acts.

Officials in Mr Erdogan's party has previously argued for a review of the agreement, saying that it conflicts with their traditional values by encouraging divorce, France 24 reported.

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