Women’s Rights are Human Rights
The importance of international treaties for the protection and global advancement of women, in particular the Istanbul Convention (Action against violence against women and domestic violence) and CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women), were central to the in-depth discussion on women’s rights.
Raise awareness of gender-based violence (GBV) and accelerate remedies.
Considering the irony of Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, the international expert panel clarified that gender-based violence (GBV) is a form of discrimination against women and thus not only concerns the Istanbul Convention but also falls under the scope of the CEDAW mechanism. Focusing on the definition of GBV, the panelists further elaborated on economic abuse. Pointing towards the frequent failure of judicial systems to recognize economic abuse, the panelists underlined the importance of understanding and conceptualizing GBV and the necessity of equal access to justice and equal protection under the law. In this regard, the panelists urged to improve the implementation of the Istanbul Convention and CEDAW, considering that their implementation largely depends on the respective national legal systems.
Naming and shaming of shortcomings, failures, and offenders is essential.
Finally, the panelists shared how women lawyers are experiencing discrimination in practice and discussed the discrepancies between cultural and traditional views on women’s roles in society and family responsibilities, and the increased workload in legal professions. In conclusion, the expert panelists Joanna Wisła-Płonka, Onyoja Momoh, Maria Andriani Kostopoulou, Nida Usman Chaudhary, Osai Ojigho, and Dubravka Šimonović urged calling out those institutions and individuals that put obstacles in the way of gender equality, encouraged law schools and universities to teach about women’s rights, the Istanbul Convention and CEDAW, recommended considering international treaty mechanisms as alternatives to litigation and emphasized the importance of understanding the broad scope of GBV.