The Zonta Club of Basel invited to a public lecture and panel discussion about the Istanbul Convention and its ratification process in Switzerland. The event took place at the University of Basel on 30 November during the 16 Days of Activism for the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign.
A legal expert from Women Lawyers Switzerland, and a consultant from TERRE DES FEMMES Switzerland, a counseling organization, provided legal and practical insight. Club President Petra Kitschmann presented Zonta to the audience.
Some of the key learnings
- On the political level, the ratification process is well advanced and expected to happen during the next two years, no action is required to accelerate the process, it just takes its time.
- On the practical side, there is still a lot of room for improvement, e.g.
o There are many laws and too many authorities involved when filing a suit as a victim of violence; the process becomes complicated, lengthy and expensive. This prevents people from taking legal action and allows perpetrators continuing to do evil.
o The status of migrant woman has to become independent of her marital situation in order that she is not forced to leave the country in case of a divorce from a violent man.
o Financial resources for counseling, women’s shelters, etc. are under constant threat and hence it is very difficult to work on real improvements.
Therefore, it is important that we as Zontians take all the opportunities to raise all voices for improvements and ensure that Zonta becomes visible as a stakeholder in women’s rights on all levels (local, regional, national).