Through the FIGC (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio), UEFA (Union of European Football Association) has received confirmation from the Italian government that the UEFA EURO 2020 matches (which had been postponed because of the pandemic) will be played across 12 cities, as originally planned by the UEFA Executive Committee. The championship will take place between June 11 and July 11, 2021, with the opening match, Italy vs Turkey, to be played in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
The match will be the first to take place with spectators: a return to life and sport’s values, teachings, and exemplary practices. With their behavior, women and men in sport have the power to affirm or deny human rights, to express exemplary messages, to convey laudable behaviors.
Gariwo launches an appeal to women and men in sport, sportspeople, and citizens to ask UEFA that a team of female referees referee the opening match of the European Championships.
The match will be played only a few weeks after Erdoğan issued a decree (on March 20, 2021) annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention. On March 12, 2012, Turkey was the first country to ratify the Convention.
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- In March 2021, Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention. Signed in Istanbul in 2011, the Convention aims to protect women against violence and to combat domestic violence. Turkey withdrew from the Convention through a decree signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and published in the Official Gazette on March 19, 2021. Turkey’s withdrawal from the Convention raises serious concerns, especially among Turkish feminist movements. In 2019, at least 474 women were killed in Turkey, increasing from 2018 (440) and 2010 (180). The Council of Europe’s Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric called Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention a “devastating news” and a “huge setback” to international initiatives to protect women and girls from the violence "they face every day in our societies," and "all the more regrettable because it undermines the protection of women in Turkey, throughout Europe and beyond."
- There are several national responses to violence against women and domestic violence in Europe. The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, is an international treaty against violence against women and domestic violence, approved by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on April 7, 2011, and opened for signature on May 11, 2011, in Istanbul. The treaty aims to prevent violence, promote the protection of victims and prevent impunity for perpetrators. It has been signed by 45 countries, and on March 12, 2012, Turkey was the first country to ratify the Convention.
- On June 19, 2013, after the unanimous approval of the Convention at the Chamber of Deputies, the Italian Senate voted the Convention with 274 votes in favor and only one abstained. So far, 34 States ratified the Convention and 12 countries – including Armenia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and others – signed it. With ratification, the Convention’s provisions are legally binding.
- The Istanbul Convention “opens the path for creating a legal framework at pan-European level to protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence”. The Convention defines violence against women as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination (art. 3-a). According to the Convention, “parties shall ensure that State authorities, official, agents, institutions and other actors acting on behalf of the State act in conformity with this obligation” (art. 5).
- The Convention is the first international treaty to contain a definition of gender. In fact, Article 3-c defines gender as "socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men."
- In addition, the treaty establishes a set of crimes characterized by violence against women. States should include these in their penal codes or other forms of legislation or should incorporate them where they do not already exist in their legal systems. The crimes covered by the Convention are the following: psychological violence (Art. 33); stalking (Art. 34); physical violence (Art. 35), sexual violence, including rape (Art. 36); forced marriage (Art. 37); female genital mutilation (Art. 38), forced abortion and forced sterilization (Art. 39); sexual harassment (Art. 40). The convention also includes an article targeting crimes committed in the name of so-called "honor" (Art. 42).
The Convention consists of 81 articles divided into 12 chapters: through its “4 Ps” – prevention, protection and support of victims, prosecution of offenders, and integrated policies – the Convention’s structure provides a set of specific measures.
The Convention also establishes obligation for State parties to collect data and research support in the field of all forms of violence covered by the scope of the Convention (Art. 11). Under this Convention, member States:
- Condemn all forms of violence against women and domestic violence;
- Recognize that the realization of de jure and de facto equality between women and men is a key element in the prevention of violence against women;
- Recognize that violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between women and man, which have led to domination over, and discrimination against, women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women;
- Recognize the structural nature of violence against women as gender-based violence, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men;
- Recognize, with great concern, that women and girls are often exposed to serious forms of violence such as domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape, forced marriage, crimes committed in the name of the so-called “honour” and genital mutilation;
- Recognize that these forms of violence constitute a serious violation of the human rights;
- Recognize that these forms of violence constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of equality between women and men;
- Recognize that domestic violence affects women disproportionately, and that men may also be victim of domestic violence;
- Aspire to create a Europe free from violence against women and domestic violence.
The purposes of the Convention are to:
- Protect women against all forms of violence and prevent violence against women and domestic violence;
- Prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence, as well as all forms of discrimination;
- Promoting substantial equality between women and men;
- Design a comprehensive framework, policies and measures for the protection of and assistance to all victims of violence;
- Promote international co-operation to eliminate violence against women and domestic violence;
- Provide support and assistance to organizations and law enforcement agencies to effectively co-operate in order to adopt an integrated approach to eliminating violence against women and domestic violence
The Convention provides definitions for:
- Violence against women: “a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and shall mean all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”.
- Domestic violence: “all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that occur within the family or domestic unit or between former or current spouses or partners, whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the victim”.
- Gender: “the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men”.
- Gender-based violence: “mean violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately”.
- Victim: “any natural person who is subject to violence against women and domestic violence”.
- Women: “includes girls under the age of 18”.
- Member States shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to protect all victims from any further acts of violence and to promote and protect the right of all people to live free from violence;
- Member States shall undertake to include a gender perspective in the implementation and evaluation of the impact of the provisions of this Convention and to promote and effectively implement policies of equality between women and men and the empowerment of women;
- Member States shall monitor violence through research and data collection;
- Member States shall promote or conduct, on a regular basis and at all levels, awareness-raising campaigns or programmes to increase awareness and understanding among the general public of the different manifestations of all forms of violence covered by the scope of this Convention
- Member States shall include teaching material on issues such as equality between women and men, non-stereotyped gender roles, mutual respect, non-violent conflict resolution in interpersonal relationships, gender-based violence against women and the right to personal integrity, adapted to the evolving capacity of learners, in formal curricula and at all levels of education;
- Member States shall provide or strengthen appropriate training for the relevant professionals dealing with victims or perpetrators of all acts of violence covered by the scope of this Convention;
- Member States shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to set up or support treatment programmes aimed at preventing perpetrators, in particular sex offenders, from re-offending;
- Member States shall encourage the private sector, the information and communication technology sector and the media, with due respect for freedom of expression and their independence, to participate in the elaboration and implementation of policies and to set guidelines and self-regulatory standards to prevent violence against women and to enhance respect for their dignity.