Moldovan parliament ratifies Istanbul convention contrary to protestations from Socialists and Communists
CHISINAU. Oct 14 (Interfax) - The parliament of Moldova has ratified on final reading the Council of Europe (CoE) convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the so-called Istanbul convention).
The document was favored by 54 members from the ruling Party of Action and Solidarity in the 101-seat parliament, an Interfax correspondent reported from the session room.
The Electoral Bloc of Communists and Socialists (BECS) had wanted the issue to be taken off the agenda. Socialist Gregory Novak proposed an amendment whereby "Moldova will follow the Convention guided by its Constitution and interpreting the notion of gender as being biological only." (The Convention defines gender as "socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men.")
When the amendment failed to pass, the BECS walked out of the room, saying that "wanted to take no part in this shameful act."
The signatories of the 81-point convention undertake to combat, prevent and prosecute violence against women, domestic violence, protect victims of violence, and adopt comprehensive policies.
"By ratifying the Convention, the Moldovan authorities duly undertake to prosecute violence against women, allocate resource to ensure the operation of crisis centers, 24/7 hotline, shelters for victims of violence, provide psychological and legal assistance, and other measures," the document said.
"The ratification will bring Moldova closer to the goal of eradicating violence against women and domestic violence, help it achieve zero tolerance towards this phenomenon," it said.
The Convention was adopted (opened for signature) on May 11, 2011. By now it has been ratified by 34 CoE member states.