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  • Writer's pictureThe YSI

SNP Youth Welcomes signing of historic bill by Dr Eilidh Whiteford.

On Friday, SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP passed a historic bill on the Istanbul Convention, a major step forward for women today. Kelly Given, SNP Youth Equalities Officer welcomes this:

“The passing of arguably the most significant piece of Legislation for women and girls in the history of the UK Government is an incredible step in the right direction for equality. I would like to personally pass on my thanks and congratulations to Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP for the tremendous effort she has put in to this success, she will forever be written in history as one of the great feminists of our time. I was disgusted to see Philip Davies MP yet again try his hardest to filibuster such a progressive, positive bill and it forces many questions to arise regarding his motives; but his efforts were defeated. To see such overwhelming cross-party support for this cause is extremely refreshing and I very much look forward to the positive change that the ratification of the Istanbul Convention will bring for women and girls all over the country.”

More information on the Istanbul Convention:

The Istanbul Convention is a Pan-European treaty which is aimed at obliterating Violence against Women in all its forms and manifestations.

The UK Government signed the treaty in 2012 however, without its formal ratification; the treaty was not legally binding in the UK. Now that the bill has been passed by Parliament, the Istanbul Convention will become legally binding legislation and will oblige the UK Government to take progressive measures towards ending violence against women.

Statistics –

  • On average, the police receive a domestic abuse related emergency call every thirty seconds in the UK2 women per week in the UK die as a direct result of Domestic Violence

  • Domestic Violence is the single most quoted reason for homelessness

  • In 2010 the Forced Marriage Unit responded to 1735 reports of possible forced marriages

  • Domestic Violence is the violent crime which is least reported to police, despite accounting for 16% of all crime

Key points on the Istanbul Convention –

  • Obliges the government to supply funding for rape crisis centres, counselling, and refuge centres for women who fall victim to gender based violence

  • Provides funding for a 24/7 free of charge helpline for victims

  • Age appropriate education in schools to help pupils spot signs of abuse and seek help

  • Promotes international co-operation against all forms of gender based violenceSeeks to protect and empower women

  • Defines and Criminalises the various forms of violence against women (FGM, rape, forced marriage, domestic and sexual abuse, emotional violence or harm, stalking

  • Gender equality cannot be achieved whilst women remain victim to gender-based violence and abuse.

The passing of this bill marks a hugely progressive step for women and girls across the country and SNP Youth enthusiastically welcomes this.

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