Conservative opposition MPs from the Law and Justice party and United Poland slammed the convention for furthering the “socio-cultural concept of gender'', and ''destroying the Polish family.''
However, a majority of 254 MPs voted in favour of ratification, while 175 were against, and 8 abstained.
According to the Council of Europe, the convention has opened “the path for creating a legal framework at pan-European level to protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence.”
Member states are required to provide an official hotline operating 24 hours a day for female victims of violence, clear web sites on where to get help, as well as to create a sufficient number of shelters and support centres.
Police officers must be trained in interviewing techniques so as to protect against secondary victimization, the state must monitoring data collection of gender crimes, and conduct information campaigns to counter violence against women.
The reference to gender stereotypes in Poland can be controversial, with gender studies repeatedly criticised by the Church and right-wing parties in recent months.
The spokesman for the Conference of Polish Bishops has described the adoption of the convention as a violation of fundamental civilisational principles. “It is a black letter day for married couples, for families, and for Poland’s demographic future,” he said.
According to Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, the convention aims at eliminating “all the traditions rooted in the Polish family”. “I have lived through Nazism and communism. I will live through the gender ideology as well,” he said.
However, “Research has shown that certain roles or stereotypes reproduce unwanted and harmful practices and contribute to make violence against women acceptable,” the convention argues.
“To overcome such gender roles, Article 12 (1) frames the eradication of prejudices, customs, traditions and other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority of women or on stereotyped gender roles as a general obligation to prevent violence.”
The convention has already been signed by 36 states, and ratified by 16, including Poland. (nh/mk/jb)