Is Croatia's anxiety about the Istanbul Convention over?

Croatian conservative groups did their best to discredit the Istanbul Convention and prevent its ratification. But these efforts were in vain -- the Convention was being implemented in Croatia as of October 1. 

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Is Croatia's anxiety about the Istanbul Convention over? - NewsMavens
Women. Pexels

Why this story matters:

Men are not entering women's toilets, there is no gay propaganda in schools and parents are still being called "mom" and "dad".

Every nightmare scenario anticipated by the conservatives once the Istanbul Declaration came into effect is, of course, nonsense. 

What should be happening in Croatia is the transfer of all the Convention's regulations defining violence against women and the protection domestic violence victims into actual legislation. If it will happen remains to be seen. Neighboring countries have all ratified the Convention but few have progressed significantly in its implementation. 

Hopefully, Croatia can set a good example. 

Details from the story:

  • The ratification of the Istanbul Convention in Croatia was strongly opposed by conservative groups, who claimed the document is a threat to "traditional family values" which imposes the so-called "gender ideology." Some of the objectors were closely related to the Catholic Church in Croatia. 
  • The Istanbul Convention takes a gender perspective in its attempt to address the issues of violence against women and domestic violence. It differentiates "sex" (biological characteristics) and "gender" (socially constructed roles attributed to men or women), which has been widely interpreted as allowing children to "choose their own sex" and "third gender" becoming a new legally recognized category. 
  • A citizens' initiative called "The Truth about the Istanbul Convention" argued that a referendum was needed so that Croatians can have their say on the adoption of the Istanbul Convention.
  • The campaign against the Istanbul Convention reached its peak during anti-ratification protests held this spring in Croatia. On March 24 this year, over 5,000 Croatians marched against the forthcoming ratification of the document in the capital city of Zagreb. They argued the ratification paves a road to legalizing gay marriage and promoting homosexuality in Croatian schools. 
  • Croatia signed the Istanbul Convention in January 2013 but failed to ratify it until  April 13, 2018. Its implementation started on October 1, 2018. 
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