Lithuanian president submitting Istanbul Convention to parlt for ratification
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė is putting the Council of Europe's Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) before the country's parliament for ratification, the presidential office confirmed it to BNS Lithuania on Thursday.
The Convention is being submitted for ratification before its deliberation by the Cabinet and also amid controversy caused by the document among Lithuanian politicians.
Grybauskaitė took the initiative during the Women Political Leaders Summit taking place in Vilnius. The president underlined that the Convention is aimed at fighting violence against women, does not change or expand the concept of gender but speaks about the social functions of genders.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius signed the Convention in 2013 but the Seimas has not ratified it so far.
The Convention is causing major debates in Lithuania due to the concept of "gender" and its Lithuanian translation, approved by the government chancellery, as "social gender".
Social Security and Labor Minister Linas Kukuraitis said earlier opinions on the Istanbul Convention differ so much that it would be difficult to reach a compromise any time soon.
The Council of Europe's experts say upon the Convention's ratification, Lithuania would benefit from valuable advice of specialists monitoring its implementation and other countries' good practice on combating domestic violence.
Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference and other critics say the Convention would make Lithuania change its gender concept and introduce unacceptable notions about homosexuality. Some conservative MPs believe the Convention would bring confusion to the legal system and undermine the implementation of the family policy.