Sexual harassment in 47 parliaments under focus in new PACE-IPU joint research

Sexual harassment in 47 parliaments under focus in new PACE-IPU joint research

Rıfat Başaran / ANKARA
Sexual harassment in 47 parliaments under focus in new PACE-IPU joint research

The Interparliamentary Union (IPU) and Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) will launch a regional report on sexism, harassment and violence against women lawmakers and personnel within European parliaments in January 2018, PACE General Rapporteur on violence against women Gülsün Bilgehan has stated.

“The IPU had conducted a preliminary research by talking with 55 parliamentarians in 39 countries. The preliminary results show that 81 percent of women parliamentarians say they have experienced psychological violence,” Bilgehan told daily Hürriyet, marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Nov. 25.

“Some 44.4 percent of the women say they have received death threats, attacks or abductions, while 65 percent say they have faced mistreatment or harassment,” she said.

“The rate of the sexual harassment within parliaments is 20 percent. Some 25.5 percent of women have experienced physical violence,” she added.

“It is time to reveal the violence against women in parliaments of 47 countries including Turkey,” Bilgehan said.

She said that in January 2018, the IPU and PACE will launch joint research in the parliaments of 47 European countries to reveal harassment, violence, threat and attacks faced by female politicians within parliaments or while conducting their political duties.

“As parliamentarians, it is our responsibility not only to make sure that all victims of gender-based violence receive all the support they need but also to step up actions to encourage victims to file complaints and prevent violence, including within our parliaments,” Bilgehan said in an official statement published to mark Nov. 25.

“I hope this study will contribute to lifting the barriers of shame in our parliaments and supporting the victims in their rehabilitation processes. ‘No’ means ‘no,’ regardless of the context, location or perpetrator,” she added.

Bilgehan also referred to the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe’s convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, saying its implementation and ratification is of “utmost importance for combatting violence against women.”