Ukrainian churches fear gender agenda after vote about Istanbul Convention


Eastern Europe


Photo EPA, Roman Pilipey

The Ukrainian Parliament ratified the Istanbul Convention on Monday. This human rights treaty aims to prevent domestic violence and introduces gender as a concept of self-identification.

The parliament supported the ratification of the Istanbul Convention with 259 votes in favour and eight votes against the ratification.

Ukrainian churches were opposed to ratifying the treaty of the Council of Europe. The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO) appealed to the parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, to postpone consideration of the Istanbul Convention during the war. "Attempts to ratify the Istanbul Convention in wartime conditions and the presence of opposing views in society on this initiative will only provoke a new wave of public protests, discontent, and criticism of the Ukrainian leadership. And this is at the time when our state needs unity, cohesion, consolidation of efforts of all public institutions to win the war against the Russian aggressor", the statement said.

Ideological concept

The Istanbul convention not only aims to combat domestic violence but also introduces the concept of "gender" as an ideological concept of a person's self-identification. The religious communities of Ukraine cannot agree with this, because ignoring the fact of biological sexes "carries the threat of a distortion of the younger generation of their gender identity, the popularisation of same-sex sexual relations and the spread of gender dysphoria among children and young people". This reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists.

The Council of Europe Secretary-General, Marija Pejčinović Burić, reacted positively to the vote. "As women and girls are particularly vulnerable during the conflict, I warmly welcome the approval by the Ukrainian Parliament", she said on the website of the Council of Europe.

Ukraine will become the 36th state to have ratified the Istanbul Convention. On 12 March 2012, Turkey became the first country to ratify the convention, followed by 35 other countries from 2013 to 2022. Turkey also became the first and only country to withdraw from the convention after denouncing it on 20 March 2021.



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