Women’s struggle for the Istanbul Convention in Poland; “If we refuse the contract, I hope the women will overthrow the government!”

Following the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on the Decree of the President of Turkey, one of the countries, which is an example of the Presidency of Communications in Poland, and the government continues to withdraw from the printing contract of the Catholic Church with its affiliates. A bill submitted to the Polish Parliament by supporters of the Istanbul Convention on the Destruction of Family Values, based on the principle of gender equality, is to withdraw from the treaty and replace it with a law that “protects” the family.

Polish women’s rights activists, PhDs and women activists, who have long been pressured by conservative circles to withdraw from the Istanbul Congress, continue to struggle. Joanna SozanskaHe told T24 about the women’s struggle in his country.

Sozanska described the 2015 general elections as the beginning of a period of deteriorating human rights in Poland, and described the process as follows: “The Law and Justice Party won the 2015 parliamentary elections. Since 2015, the government has alienated Poland from democratic values ​​and, unfortunately, established an authoritarian system. In 2019, the Law and Justice Party won the election again and the authoritarian path became clearer. Authorities in Poland have turned a blind eye to hate speech since 2015. From the beginning, a policy of fear was implemented against refugees, doctors, teachers, women and now LGBTI +. “

Joanna Sozanska at a demonstration in Poland. The poster conveys a message of support for women fighting for their rights in other countries. “I think, I feel and decide” are included in the poster.

Sozanska said the Ordo Juris Foundation, a right-wing and powerful foundation, was behind the discrimination against women and LGBTI + in Poland. He is currently the President of the Civic Platform Party, an opposition party to the Istanbul Convention in Poland Bronislaw Komorowski Sozanska, recalling that it was signed during her term in office, explained the deteriorating situation of women’s rights in the country with the new government with the following example:

For example, the government has stopped funding the Blue Line, an emergency service for victims of domestic violence. The service has been helping victims of violence since 1995. The service is currently funded by non-governmental actors such as footballer Jakub Blaszczykowski. About 73.8 percent of victims of domestic violence in Poland are women. As a result, about 500 women die each year. That is why the Istanbul Convention is very important. In Poland, the Istanbul Convention has become a legal guarantee, but the problem of domestic violence has not been resolved. To solve this problem, a change in government and public awareness are required.

“They aim to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention and emphasize family rights”

“Who doesn’t want the Istanbul Convention in Poland and why?” Sozanska pointed to the ruling Law and Justice Party and the far-right Ordo Juris Foundation. Sozanska stressed that the foundation is known for its anti-LGBT + rhetoric. “According to these groups, the Istanbul Convention is seen as a threat to the ‘traditional family’ concept established by a woman and a man. For conservatives, the Istanbul Convention threatens to ‘break up families with the concept of gender’. The government claims that the Istanbul Convention applies to families raising their children in a manner inconsistent with the Polish Constitution. Of course, this is not the case. Conservative and religious groups have filed an application to draft an ‘International Covenant on Family Rights’ instead of the Istanbul Convention.. He said.

Sozanska continued: “The Catholic Church, which has a strong influence on right-wing conservative parties and government policies, is wrong to say that LGBTI + will” apply “its views on sex to society through the Istanbul Convention.”

Sozanska said what happened today in connection with the withdrawal from the contract, “The bill, entitled “Yes to the family, not to the sex,” envisages withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention and the application of the law on family rights. The far-right Ordo Juris Foundation is behind this step. The far-right parties and the Catholic Church say the convention is “an effort to spread the ideologies of the LGBTI + community.” The group that introduced the bill, when it presented it to parliament on December 28 last year, argued that withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention would save 185 million Polish zlotys.

On February 10, the bill was read in the lower house of parliament, the Seimas. On March 30, a proposal to reject the bill was put to a vote in the Seimas. 127 deputies from the Civil Coalition, 46 deputies from the Left Party, 4 deputies from Poland in 2050 and 8 deputies from the Polish Coalition voted to reject the bill. However, the parliament rejected the proposal to speed up work on the bill by launching a second reading. In other words, the Parliament is in the process of drafting a bill to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention.

Campaigns are organized to inform the public about the content of the Istanbul Convention.

Sozanska said the left-wing parties in parliament (together with the Left and the New Left) were actively working to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, and that these parties were campaigning to inform the public about the convention protecting women from violence. Opposition parties in parliament are opposed to withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention, Sozanksa said, adding that he did not have a majority to block the bill.

CLICK – Full text of the Istanbul Convention

Sozanska said that women’s rights activists have also been protesting for a long time, adding that the biggest problem is communication with the government. “The government cannot be contacted,” she said. Protests erupted across the country when Prime Minister Morawieck announced plans to withdraw from the convention. Activists and the Left Party Together, organized reading events at the Istanbul Congress to inform the public. “

From an action against the strict abortion law that came into force in Poland this year. The poster reads “Lions are coming for you.” (Photo: Joanna Sozanska)

CLICK – Abortion ban comes into force in Poland, protests begin

Conservatives took advantage of Turkey’s decision to secede from the Istanbul Convention

Turkey’s decision to allow Poland to attend the Istanbul Congress, Sozansk told the media, “Turkey’s conservative circles have decided to withdraw from society to defend their disputes, and society has used it to protect disinformation.”

CLICK – Turkey is the first person to sign a presidential decree from the Istanbul Convention!

Sozanska said Polish women lived “under the patriarchal tradition under the influence of the Catholic Church and the Law and Justice Party,” adding that the biggest struggle for women was to be free. “

Sozanska stressed the following in connection with Poland’s struggle for the Istanbul Convention: If Poland withdraws from the Istanbul Convention (I hope it will not happen) I hope there will be women who overthrow the government!

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