We have been witness to an unprecedented wave of mass protests against violence against women in India, Afghanistan and indeed around the world. The heartening aspect of these events is that women everywhere are invoking their human rights to life and liberty and in the process they are extending and redefining conceptions of rights and justice to make them more progressive and inclusive. Paradoxically at the same time, we are also witness to an unprecedented attack on feminism and women’s rights globally.

SBS fully supports the campaign to compel the UK government to ratify the Istanbul Convention. Our fear is that without ratification, the equality paradigm will be defeated. In the UK, black and minority women in particular, have the most to lose since they not only have to contend with the economic climate of cut backs and general backlash against gender equality but linked to this, the rise and entrenchment of religious power. It is imperative that we force the current government to make good its promise to abide by international law and standards on violence and discrimination against women.