The Ukrainian parliament ratified the Istanbul Convention on preventing violence against women and domestic violence today, June 20. A total of 259 deputies supported the presidential draft bill.

President Volodymyr Zelensky submitted the relevant document for approval on June 18.

The demand for ratification of the Istanbul Convention was voiced non-publicly by some EU member states as a prerequisite for approving candidate status for Ukraine.

Forty-six countries, including the EU, signed the document. However, 11 states, including Ukraine, had not ratified this agreement.

The Istanbul Convention was signed by Ukraine in 2011 but has not yet been ratified due to protests from churches and conservative politicians against the term “gender” which is used in it.

These fears are reinforced by the fact that the convention guarantees protection against discrimination on the grounds of “gender identity” and “sexual orientation,” which makes the concept of “gender” dependent not on the natural sexual characteristics but self-identification.


“Such a distorted approach could make the Istanbul Convention a tool for promoting new gender roles and same-sex relationships in Ukrainian schools and universities,” the Council of Churches stated.

It is the first document in Ukraine to oblige it to create acreation a legal framework to combat violence against women.

Signatory countries to the Convention should criminalize psychological abuse, stalking, physical and sexual abuse, forced marriage, forced abortion, and sterilization.


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