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The Scottish National Party has stepped up its efforts to end violence against women by hosting a conference of campaign groups in the Houses of Parliament.
The SNP hosted a round-table discussion, focussing on a campaign to call on the UK government to ratify the Istanbul Convention which legislates for the coordination of policies between government, local authorities and charities working to combat violence against women. The SNP has previously raised the issue with David Cameron, criticising his government for “stalling” over women’s rights.
In 2012, the UK signed-up to the Convention and agreed to implement a series of coordinated measures, however to date the UK Government has failed to ratify it. In a recent letter to the Prime Minister, co-signed by several campaign groups, Gavin Newlands MP called on David Cameron to set a date for ratification and commit to working with relevant organisations to build on the government’s work to date.
The letter had been signed by White Ribbon UK, Scottish Women’s Aid, Women’s Aid UK, End Violence Against Women Coalition, Engender, iChange, No More Page 3, Rape Crisis Scotland and Zero Tolerance.
Commenting after the roundtable discussion, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said,
“David Cameron must stop stalling on this vital piece of legislation. The UK government can and must do more to end violence against women, and the SNP have called on him to ensure there is cooperation between Government, local authorities and charities.
Despite all the positive work that has taken place in ending the violence that many women experience on a daily basis, it should shame and anger us all that 1 in 4 women in the UK will still experience some form of violence at some point in their lives.


My own constituency has a high prevalence of violence against women and the vital work being done by the local authority, violence against women partnership and Dumbarton & Clydebank Women’s Aid organisations needs to be backed up by the UK Government at the highest level.
Tackling and ending the violence that many women face on a daily basis is an issue that unites the Parliament, however we should not allow that level of consensus to foster complacency. The UK Government is doing a lot of work in this area but there is more that can be done to tackle the scourge of violence against women.”
Angela Crawley, SNP spokesperson for Women and Equalities said,
“The Istanbul Convention places an obligation on the government to prevent violence against women in all its forms, protect victims and prosecute the perpetrators. The UK Government signed the convention in June 2012, so I cannot understand why they are so hesitant to ratify it now.
Gender-based violence is a blight on our society and it claims the lives of two women every week. Ignorance simply will not suffice on this matter; the government must stop dragging its feet and ratify the convention now.”


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