As long as there is one woman being beaten or raped, one girl being abused or harassed, we must continue to redouble our efforts.
10 years ago in Istanbul, we took a significant step forwards in preventing and combating violence against women.
The Istanbul Convention really made a difference. It resulted in a commitment to protect and change the lives of women and girls.
Its implementation means the provision of places of shelter for victims, ensuring there is an emergency telephone hotline and providing essential help to victims so that they can rebuild their lives. It is about providing support, particularly through the training and education of legal and health professionals, as well as those who enforce the law. It is about ensuring access to justice. It is about fighting for the rights of women and girls.
33 countries are enforcing this convention.
11 countries have signed it without ratification. One country has recently withdrawn, ten years after being the first to join.
From Paris to Warsaw, London to Ankara, Budapest to Zagreb, every woman and girl across the world has a right to a life free of violence. This is non-negotiable. It is a universal right.
We must revisit that which united us in Istanbul — namely our values, our ideals and our humanity. It was, as I said, 10 years ago that we took a step forward. We must continue on our journey and not leave anyone behind.
I call on each and every one of us to commit and go even further. Even though we have made progress, there is still much left to do — and that includes in France. We must not accept any backward steps. As long as there is one woman being beaten or raped, one girl being abused or harassed, we must continue to redouble our efforts.
Let us work together for equality between men and women alongside UN Women at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris on 30 June — 2 July 2021.
For all women and girls, there must be no talk of action tomorrow. It must be about changing things today, now.