5th Anniversary of the entry into force of Istanbul Convention

August 1st marked the 5th anniversary of the entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention. Tony Daly, on behalf of 80:20, joined other members of Euromed Rights Network in reflecting on what this convention means for them.

“During a routine check-up as part of antenatal meetings with my partner, the last thing we expected our midwife to ask was whether we had booked tickets to catch the latest box office not-to-miss movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Tony Daly on the steps at home joined by Rosa. Photo: Ciara Regan

It was the week of Valentine’s Day in February 2014; that seasonal expression of love and affection on the annual calendar. And no, we had not booked tickets. After a hearty laugh about it, the race was on, our midwife explained…to the holiday roster. Any midwife worth their armchair forecasting knew what was coming – a VERY busy November. In an increasingly digital and digitally connected world, I couldn’t help but stop and wonder. What is this movie teaching – through emotional pain, humiliation and intimate partner violence – to today’s young women and men? Through popular culture, what is it suggesting or potentially normalising?

Four years on, and now joined by a young sister, my son sees and imitates everyone around him – most especially his cousins and grandparents. As social animals, children see, children do. And I wonder, what new role models will they grow to learn from and how many pop culture signals and norms will they be able to decode, unlearn and challenge for themselves?

As violence against girls and women is now broadcast regularly on Twitter, Facebook and in recent elections by candidates proving their ‘credentials’, it’s important to recognise the women who have encountered violence, in all its forms and through courage took personal risks to speak out, in spite of decades of distrustful state and social institutions that systematically failed generations of women. Last year over 19,000 contacts were made with Women’s Aid. At least 1 in 3 women worldwide, or up to one billion women, have been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in their lifetimes.

That Ireland ratified the Istanbul Convention on International Women’s Day in March this year is a triumph in perseverance and hope, and it gives me hope that Ireland finally signalled its ‘credentials’ as a small country to unlearn and relearn its role as a guarantor to this and future generations to prevent, protect against and combat gender-based violence in all its forms – physical, psychological and sexual.

By ratifying the Istanbul Convention, Ireland now stands in solidarity with women everywhere in stating that violence against women is no longer a ‘grey’ matter. That fantasy, is over”.

Additional links

Featured photo: © Council of Europe

Loreto Bray and 80:20 launch ‘Use Your Art to End Gender Inequality’ poster series

Press release

March 8th, 2019

Thirty-six students from the Loreto Bray Peace and Justice group, in conjunction with human rights and human development education non-governmental organisation 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World, are launching a poster art series on International Women’s Day 2019 on the themes of women’s rights and ‘on this day’ historical events.

A central idea to the posters will be shared at the launch event at 1.30pm at Bray Library in Bray, Co. Wicklow by the students and project team, which speaks in celebration to past achievements in the women’s rights movement and in protest when comparing them to similar and ongoing daily struggles experienced in the lives of women and girls in today’s world.

Actions, not words; four stealth bombers greater than or equal to the annual cost of ending maternal mortality?; the gender pay gap; education and ‘the girl effect’ – a sample of some of the most important issues for girls and women raised by the group in the poster work discussions and exercises.

In developing the Use Your Art to End Gender Inequality posters the Peace and Justice group marked the centenary year of suffrage activities and commemorations as reference points for young people, particularly girls, to learn about and be inspired to act on women’s rights (and wrongs); as a reminder of and a tribute to the power of posters historically in generating conversations and interest in women’s issues and as a mirror to highlight examples of gender discrimination and violence women face every day in public life, in the labour market and at home.

ENDS

Contact details: Tony Daly, co-ordinator, 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World, email: tony@8020.ie or call (01) 2860487

Notes to Editors:

Participants have been involved in a range of cluster group activities over the last 17 months, including:

  • Exploring (1) centenary of women’s franchise events and debates, (2) global trends and realities of violence encountered by women every day, including the #MeToo movement, (3) a series of key international standards such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with international development targets to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity, and (4) selected case studies, such as the Rohingya crisis, through a gender lens.
  • Reviewing artwork from previous women’s rights poster campaigns over the last 100 years
  • Meeting the chair of the Vótáil 100 committee to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland, Senator Ivana Bacik, and visiting an exhibition on women’s suffrage in the Seanad ante-room
  • Hands-on poster art making workshops and action-research ideas
  • Forging links, making visits and sharing peer learning across an informal network amongst teachers and students in Bray.

Other notes:

  • Free copies of the A3 posters are available by request. Contact info@8020.ie
  • Research data and Use Your Art to End Gender Inequality education and poster project details are available at 8020.ie/use-your-art-gender-inequality
  • The Peace and Justice group in Loreto Secondary School Bray is a voluntary student-led group of mixed age range of students from 13-18 years old which raises awareness of justice issues both at home in Ireland and abroad. More info: loretobray.com/peace-and-justice
  • International Women’s Day is the annual international UN designated day to celebrate the historical, cultural and political achievements of women and to champion the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality.

About Let’s Talk

‘Let’s Talk’ is an education and action project which involves young people discussing, debating and taking action on issues of conflict, peace, reconciliation, climate change, sustainable development and justice in Ireland and beyond.

The project has been running for over 20 years, co-ordinated by 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World, and is supported by Concern Worldwide.