1. Violence against Women in Politics: The Belém do Pará and Istanbul Conventions

As the number of women in politics increases, so does the need to recognise and combat the violence and harassment that women encounter therein. Combating this violence, often normalised and tolerated, is imperative as it negatively affects women’s equal political rights and undermines democracy itself. So far, however, gender-based violence in politics has received little attention. International human rights law has started to address the issue only recently. This paper will assess the potential to combat violence against women in politics of two conventions dealing with gender-based violence: Belém do Pará and Istanbul. It will evaluate the standards developed by their monitoring bodies while analysing how this violence is conceptualised, the areas of political/public life where it is addressed and the challenges in tackling it. The political ambit where this violence occurs, where free speech is highly protected, makes addressing this violence particularly challenging.

2. Female and Male Victims of Stalking: Same Pain, Different Problems. How Can the State Answer their Needs?

80 to 90% victims of stalking are women and most of perpetrators are men. A woman who is a victim of stalking has to face not only a problem of harassment itself but also of cultural stereotypes and gender inequality. However, sometimes law can support her: in some EU countries stalking is an aggravated offence when the victim is pregnant or is a current or former spouse or partner. The Istanbul Convention recommends the penalization of stalking as a form of violence against women, the Directive 2012/29 EU establishing minimum standards on the rights of victims of crime poses that fighting violence against women is one of the priorities of the EU. In this context a man who is a stalking victim is in a very difficult situation. The law (however problematic is its implementation in practice) offers special protection to women and does not treat men as vulnerable victims.Men also need to face stereotypes (however different than women) and are sometimes worse protected than female victims.

3. Rape and Sexual Violence between Criminal Law, Human Rights and Social Movements: Lessons from the Finnish Legal Review Process

This paper investigates how supranational human rights standards regarding sexual violence and consent affect criminal law, an area of national law often considered difficult to harmonise. In Finland, the chapter of the Criminal Code that regulates sexual crimes is currently reviewed and amended to live up to standards laid down in the Istanbul Convention and ECtHR practice. Reconciling national criminal law with supranational human rights law however offers many challenges in terms of perspectives, theoretical conceptualisations and subjectivities. Through investigating the Finnish legal review process, the prevailing criminal legal debates and the socio-legal mobilisation in Finland to introduce a consent-based definition of rape, the paper demonstrates central tensions between human rights and criminal law, social and legal change and supranational and national legal norms that are brought to the fore.

Hands off Family: Counteracting Violence against Women in Poland

The aim of this proposed conference paper is to discuss the position of the Polish government towards its obligations related to counteracting violence against women. The main point of reference will be the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The paper focuses on developments introduced in Poland in the field of counteracting sexual and domestic violence, after its accession to the Istanbul Convention. It is argued that the government is more eager to address sexual than domestic violence, which could be attributable to the fact that sexual violence is stereotypically perceived as committed by “strangers”, not relatives. Against this background, domestic violence is not dealt with in order to not interfere in family matters. As observed, in today’s Poland, mainstreaming of human rights has been replaced by “family mainstreaming” where the protection of family unity prevails over the rights and safety of an entity.

Themis Wants to Live: Femicide and Justice in Turkey from a Global Perspective

Ensuring gender equality is one of the primary goals of states globally today. Nevertheless, in the criminal legal area, gender equality perspectives are challenging to implement, especially in cases where women’s physical and mental integrity is violated. This paper will examine femicides in Turkey and aims to discuss, from a global perspective, the credibility of the law in the context of gender. In criminal proceedings in which public authority is used directly, it is possible to observe that men’s feelings and rights are privileged. Moreover, the passive approach of the courts to violence against women and femicide encourages such legally enforced misogyny.

6. Policy on Extreme Forms of Violence against Women in Europe. Case study: Femi(ni)cide in Germany

In the last few years, European governments have more intensely developed strategies to fight violence against women in their own territories—an evidence of this is the implementation of the Istanbul Convention—however, they do not acknowledge femi(ni)cide as part of it. Despite these efforts, women’s organizations and international organisms have pointed out the rise of violence against women in Europe; in this frame of reference, the numbers of femi(ni)cides have also increased. Even when there are no official statistics on these kinds of crimes, one can affirm this by looking at the increasing numbers of deaths in the context of violence within relationships―usually intimate femi(ni)cide represents more than half of the total number of femi(ni)cides. This might suggest that the measurements that governments have been implementing in this field are not very appropriate. This paper will address this relationship between policies on gender-based violence and femi(ni)cide.