The Council of Europe has said it is alarmed that Poland’s rightwing government is moving to withdraw from a landmark international treaty aimed at preventing violence against women.
Poland’s justice minister, Zbigniew Ziobro, said on Saturday that he would begin preparing the formal process to withdraw from the Istanbul convention on Monday. The treaty is the world’s first binding instrument to prevent and tackle violence against women, from marital rape to female genital mutilation.
A previous centrist Polish government signed the treaty in 2012 and it was ratified in 2015, when Ziobro called it “an invention, a feminist creation aimed at justifying gay ideology”.
The treaty was spearheaded by the Council of Europe, the continent’s oldest human rights organisation, and its secretary general, Marija Pejčinović Burić, condemned the rightwing Law and Justice party (PiS) government’s plan to withdraw.