President Komorowski signs anti-violence convention
PR dla Zagranicy
President Bronisław Komorowski has signed the Council of Europe's Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women.
President Bronisław Komorowski signs the Council of Europe's Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara
Komorowski follows the vote in the lower house of parliament (Sejm) on 16 March, during which 254 MPs voted in favour of ratification, while 175 were against, and 8 abstained.
He said on Monday that it would be a ''disgrace'' internationally for Poland if it did not ratify the convention.
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.”
Nevertheless, the document has proved controversial in Poland, largely due to its emphasis on trying to ''overcome'' gender roles.
The convention argues for ''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.”
Gender studies have repeatedly criticised in Poland by the Church and right-wing parties in recent times, with critics arguing that so-called ''gender ideology'' is a threat to the traditional family.
Andrzej Duda, Komorowski's rival candidate in May's presidential election, appealed to the head of state to refrain from signing the document.
He has claimed that the convention would introduce ''vague concepts'' to the legal system that are alien to Polish culture, traditions and customs, naming ''gender'' as an example.
Duda did however stress that he opposes domestic violence.
The convention has already been ratified by 15 other European states. (nh)