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Polish minister threatens to withdraw from Istanbul Convention on gender equality

Warsaw, Poland – Earlier this week, Poland’s deputy-Justice Minister slammed the Istanbul Convention on gender equality and women’s rights and appeared to threaten to withdraw from the treaty.

Polish deputy minister slams gender equality treaty

On Wednesday, Marcin Romanowski took to Twitter to denounce the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe treaty passed in 2011 to promote gender equality and protect women against all kinds of violence (domestic violence, rape, etc.).

In a first tweet, he colorfully argues that “the way to fight violence is not to teach young boys that they can wear dresses and play with dolls” and describes the convention, ratified five years ago by the previous government, as “neo-Marxist propaganda that turns our value system upside down”.

In a second message, he went on: “The Istanbul Convention refers to religion as a cause of violence against women. We want to denounce this ‘gender gibberish’ ratified by [the Civic Platform] and [the PSL]. We are not interested in foreign opinions. For us, the foundation is the sovereign nation-state”.

Poland only V4 country to have ratified Istanbul Convention

The Istanbul Convention was ratified by the previous Civic Platform-led government in April 2015. High-ranking politicians and ministers from the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party have repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the treaty since coming to power.

Although the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary all signed the treaty in 2011 along with the vast majority of Council of Europe member states, none of them has ratified it.

The topic has been making headlines in Central Europe in the past few months. Late last year, the Slovak Parliament passed a resolution rejecting, for the second time that year, the ratification process of the Istanbul Convention.

Only a few days ago, the Hungarian Parliament did the same, claiming domestic laws on the protection of women were sufficient and accusing the convention of trying to “facilitate illegal migration” and “promote the LGBT ideology”.

Main photo credit: Official Facebook page of Marcin Romanowski

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