Written by Standard Issue

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It’s time to act on violence against women

Three years after the Istanbul Convention created a framework for ending violence against women, the UK has yet to ratify it. Georgie Laming from ICchange explains how the campaign aims to change that.

ICchange logoI love a new season. Updated fashion lines, new books and fresh starts. But it can also feel like an uphill struggle. Early mornings, peeling yourself out of a warm bed, that back to school feeling. Sometimes you need a bit of motivation.

I usually turn to music. When I’m flagging in the gym, nothing motivates me more than when I flick on my ‘empowering women’ playlist. With the support of Beyoncé and Taylor, I finish that run.

Now, imagine being the Home Secretary Theresa May. The first day of term for her has got to take a lot of motivation. Imagine having responsibility for bringing in ground-breaking legislation to tackle violence against women and girls. Exciting, maybe. Challenging, it appears, definitely.

Back in 2012, David Cameron promised to ratify the Istanbul Convention, a law created by the European Union to give governments a to-do list for tackling and preventing violence against women. But it’s been more than three years now, everything should be in place, and we’ve still not got the change needed.

Theresa May

Theresa May photo by Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

It has fallen to Theresa May to ensure we get the Istanbul Convention into law. It may not have the most iconic name, but it is the most comprehensive legal framework that exists to stop violence against women and girls.

The Convention sets minimum standards for governments to meet when tackling this kind of violence in their society. When a government brings this into law, they are legally bound to follow it. So, if the UK Government ratified it, they would have to take all the necessary steps it sets out to prevent violence, protect women experiencing violence and prosecute perpetrators.

That’s why we set up ICchange, an organisation that sees the potential of the Istanbul Convention and the life-changing work it could do for women. We want to encourage the UK Government to get a move on!

Our ask is simple: for the Government to finish what it started. They’ve already taken some significant steps towards complying with the Convention, including creating laws on female genital mutilation, forced marriage and psychological abuse.

But we need all the changes. The Convention guarantees that the vital services needed to address this issue don’t disappear, but rather that we have a strong infrastructure of support for women experiencing all forms of violence, at home, on the street, everywhere. This infrastructure will allow women to thrive, rather than fight to survive.

IC change your tune logoWith Parliament coming back from its summer holidays on Monday, we thought we’d give the Home Office a nudge by creating a bit of ‘Motivation for Legislation’.

So, we are sending a perfectly mixed playlist of feminist anthems and power ballads to help get Theresa May moving to pass one small bit of UK legislation that is holding up the whole process – something they’ve been promising to do for more than a year now.

This is where you come in. We all know that getting the motivation to do something you really should have done by now is hard, but a little motivational music can go a long way.

We’d like you to send your suggestions of #MotivationforLegislation to Theresa May on Monday. Do TLC get you up in the morning? Do Beastie Boys help you do the housework? If you need some inspiration head over to our Spotify list. We found Theresa’s Desert Island Discs fav – Dancing Queen by ABBA. Whatever your jam, we want to hear it.

It’s easy to join us: you can sign up for our Thunderclap here and you can help to spread the word throughout the day on Monday using on #ICchangeYourTune #IstanbulConvention.

Follow us: @ICchangeUK
Find out more at: http://icchange.co.uk/icchange-your-tune

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Written by Standard Issue