Today we braved the British weather to deliver a birthday card we hope the Government won’t forget in a hurry.
The 8th of June 2016 marks four years since the Istanbul Convention (IC) was signed and the UK Government made a real commitment to tackling violence against women.
Since signing the Istanbul Convention, the Government has started to improve UK laws on violence against women to bring it up to the standards of the Convention. We have seen new legislation on forced marriage, coercive control and female genital mutilation (FGM).
These laws have made women safer. However, millions still face a life of threats and violence everyday. As time passes it can be easy to forget that each moment we wait for the the Istanbul Convention to be made law means more women and girls go without the vital protections that it offers.
The longer we wait for the Government to deliver on what it promised, the more lives are at risk and tragically lost. It’s that simple.
We wanted to deliver that message to the Government and so did our supporters. So we decided to send them a four foot tall birthday card to mark the four year anniversary of the UK signing the Istanbul Convention.
Over 230 people joined us and signed the card asking the Government to finish the job it started and ratify the Istanbul Convention.
We have had messages of support from Women’s Aid, Scottish Women’s Aid, End Violence Against Women Coalition, Everyday Sexism, Restored, White Ribbon and many more.
Everyone who signed the card realises that we don’t have an indefinite amount of time to ensure women and girls get the safety they are entitled to. Now it’s time for the Government to realise this and take action.
At IC Change, we are a grassroots campaign run by volunteers. We dedicated the last few weeks of our lives to working with friends to design, make and sign the card, all whilst planning an upcoming Istanbul Convention Parliamentary lobby, completing our studies, and holding down our jobs.
One of the main jobs of the Government is to keep its people safe and right now, that’s not happening.
But we dedicate our time because we know that the freedom and safety that the IC offers is within reach. Fully ratifying the IC is vital if we want to make sure women have lives free from violence and fear.
It is this belief that has us up early, dedicating our lunch breaks and spending our evenings making sure this story is shared far and wide. Today, it saw us walking in the pouring rain to deliver our card to the Home Office.
It’s this belief, and the support we know this has, that means that we won’t give up asking the Government finish the job they started and ratify the Istanbul Convention.