The Istanbul Convention belongs to women! The right does not hinder the ratification of Europe
By abstaining from yesterday's vote, preliminary to European accession to the most important treaty against violence against women, the MEPs of Lega and Fratelli d'Italia give in to the pressure of the Pro Vita groups who read that document as anti-family and pro-gender (the same concerns expressed by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan). But Italy has already joined the Convention and apparently this is not the government's orientation. And LGBT claims have nothing to do with it. Women between two misogynistic fires: religious extremism and queer exploitation

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Yesterday in Europe a resolution was approved asking the EU to join the Istanbul Convention (2011), the most important international treaty - legally binding - against violence against women and domestic violence. Italy has already ratified the Convention in 2013, while 6 European countries (Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia) have not yet done so. Yesterday's vote is preliminary to the entire EU joining the Convention.

Incredibly MEPs from the Brothers of Italy and the League abstained from the vote. Alessandra Basso And Susanna Ceccardi of the League even voted against.  

Apparently the orientation of the Italian government would have been to vote in favourand, consistent with the 2013 ratification, but the fear of displeasing Catholic extremism - particularly the Pro Vita groups - led right-wing MEPs to compromise by abstaining, displeasing, among other things, even the Pro Vita themselves who would have demanded a unanimous and united vote against from the right.

A disastrous and unacceptable choice, argued in an equally unacceptable way: according to the head of the Fratelli d'Italia-Ecr delegation in the European Parliament Carlo Fidanza “with our abstention we wanted to reiterate ours concern about issues related to gender... We want once again to denounce the constant exploitation of the Convention by the rainbow left, who would like to make it yet another Trojan horse to impose the LGBT agenda“.

Very similar motivations - and this should be enough to embarrass the right-wing MEPs - to those with which Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan explained his exit from the Convention with a coup decree in March 2021. For the ruling party in Türkiye (AKP) the Convention it would in fact damage the family unit and encourage divorce, as well as including references that can be exploited by the LGBTQ community. According to the Associated Press note, those who attack the Convention claim that "the treaty promotes homosexuality through the use of categories such as “gender”, “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” that pose a threat to Turkish families".

the Istanbul Convention has nothing to do with the concept of gender identity as it is understood today in LGBTQ demands, or “free choice of gender regardless of birth sex” (self-id). Even in the Italian discussion on reads Zan reference was made to the Convention to defend the concept of "gender identity": but this interpretation is absolutely forced.

To the art. 4 of the Convention it is said that "The implementation of the provisions (...) must be guaranteed without any discrimination based on sex, gender (...) sexual orientation,gender identity“. But in 2011, when the text of the treaty was extended, “gender identity” referred to women's freedom from gender stereotypes, that is, the non-obligation to conform one's behavior to the roles assigned to traditional femininity, e not to queer claims.

The meaning of the Istanbul Convention therefore cannot be misunderstood in any way. In every passage of the text "gender" is understood as "female gender" and is always associated with women, beyond any doubt. From the preamble it is argued that "the achievement ofgender equality de jure and de facto is a key element to prevent the violence against women“; we talk about "structural nature of violence against women, as it is gender-based“. To the art. 3 paragraph d is written “the expression “gender-based violence against women” refers to any violence directed against a woman as such“. And so on (you can find the whole text here).

Gender identity as it is understood today (self-id) therefore has nothing to do with the Istanbul Convention, which cannot be an instrument of gender politics and basis for LGBTQ claims ephluffing the Convention in this sense harms women which are found literally between two misogynistic foci, Catholic - and Muslim - extremism and queer exploitation.

To the detriment of women, the Istanbul Convention has been regularly cannibalized by LGBTQ people to impose their own demands, especially gender identity. There is no circumstance in which unexpected reference has not been made to the Convention to impose contents that have nothing to do with the Convention and safeguards must be put in place against this misinterpretation. But the instrument must be saved in any case.

The PD MEP Giuliano Pisapia sensibly asked the government to rethink this position before the vote in plenary: “The hope is that the Italian government does not vote against or abstain when, hopefully in a very short time, there will be the final vote of the member states who will have to ratify the membership of the entire European Union. Italy must take responsibility for finalizing the accession process started years ago."

There is still time, therefore, to correct the situation.

Marina Terragni

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