10 year Anniversary of Istanbul Convention

On the day when the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence was adopted 10 years ago, Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic points out that this document was a turning point internationally but also in Serbia, which was among the first to ratify this Convention and demonstrated a willingness to tackle this problem.

One decade later, despite the legal framework, strategy and protocols, the system of protection against violence in Serbia still has cracks, but the biggest problem is the fact that the pattern that a woman is owned by a man is still dominant in our society. The connection between a woman’s subordinate position and the danger of being hurt and even killed just because she is a woman appears as almost a daily warning embodied in various cases of belittling, humiliation, harassment, sexism, which indirectly relativize any violence against women, because they are mostly portrayed either as a common part of tradition or in a sensationalist way.

It is almost impossible to get out of patriarchal discipline without strong institutional and systemic support, a legislative framework that is consistently applied, but also changes in the general cultural model and raising awareness of the consequences of the patriarchal pattern of behavior. At the same time, we must be aware at all times that behind every number and every statistic, there is the life of one woman. That is why it is the responsibility of all of us to spread awareness that violence against women is the worst and most shameful form of human rights violation, which must not be tolerated and justified, but suppressed and punished, concludes Commissioner Jankovic.

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