Women’s World Banking is deeply concerned that the Turkish government is withdrawing from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (the “Istanbul Convention”). The Convention was designed to protect women from the types of abuses that are the manifestation of unequal societies, in which women and girls have fewer rights and opportunities than men and boys. The Covid-19 pandemic has witnessed increased economic disparity for women, and gender-based violence and domestic abuse, threatening a reversal of any progress made in the last decade.

At exactly the point when governments should be doubling down on their commitments to gender equality, the Turkish government’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention sends a poor message to its citizens, and other nations, especially those who regard Turkey as a role model. We call on the Turkish government to reconsider the example it is setting the global community.