Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

09.55 8 Mar 2019


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Ireland has ratified the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women.

It comes as Cabinet ministers hold a special meeting this morning to mark International Women's Day.

As ministers met in Dublin, the Irish ambassador in Strasbourg went through the formal process of ratifying the deal - officially called the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women.

Ireland signed up to the deal in 2015, but is now getting around to formally putting it in place.

The convention calls for laws to protect women from violence and to try and eliminate domestic violence.

It requires each country to put laws in place to prosecute offenders and eliminate violence.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said ratifying the convention shows that Ireland does not tolerate domestic and sexual violence.

He explained: “Today’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention is the result of much work from many people over a number of years. Ratification does not mean the end of our efforts.

"The prevalence of this violence means we cannot lessen our efforts in this regard. Rather ratification signals a renewal of our commitments.”

"We must work quickly toward its full implementation"

A number of women's rights organisations have welcomed the ratification of the convention.

Orla O’Connor, Director of the NWCI, said:  "We are here today because of the campaigning from women’s groups, survivors and organisations campaigning to end violence against women.

"What is so important about the Istanbul Convention is that it says very clearly that it is the responsibility of the State to prevent violence against women."

She added: “Once Ireland has ratified the Convention, we must work quickly toward its full implementation. This means, for instance, increasing the current amount of refuge spaces available, as we currently only have one third the recommended amount.

"Alongside this, we urgently need to establish multi agency domestic homicide reviews, to greater protect women and children.”

Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, said: “Today’s ratification provides a welcome spur to press forward on legislative and policy developments to see a comprehensive and coordinated response to violence against women and domestic violence."

At today's meeting Cabinet ministers will also discuss ending the gender pay gap, and how to get more women on state and company boards.

They'll also get an update on the National Strategy for women and girls.

Main image: Today's Special Cabinet meeting for International Women's Day in Dublin. Photograph: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

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