After years of talking and endless calls for the EU to accede to the Istanbul Convention, I am very glad the time has finally come.
However, beyond tomorrows vote we must call for the convention to be implemented in full, and without reservations, and also call for all EU member states to do the same, including my own country, the UK, which has been dragging it's heels. It is colleagues, more urgent than ever to tackle gender based violence. Sadly, we've seen a recent wave of attacks, intimidation and harrassment of women in politics and within the public sphere. From the tragic murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in the UK last year, to the torrents of online abuse against women in public life that have now become routine. We must address the root cause of violence against women and girls and that is the culture of misogyny, sexism, and objectification which frankly allows violence to prevail. We must follow up the ratification with an ambitious European wide strategy on gender based violence and encourage sex and relationship education, for mutual, respectful relationships.
You can see me speaking in the chamber here -