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Council of Europe sends expert group to monitor violence against women in Ireland

Published: Sunday, January 29, 2023

A group of experts on violence against women is set to tour the country meeting government bodies, civil society, NGOs, and survivors. The GREVIO Committee is tasked by the Council of Europe with monitoring implementation of the Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women. The visit is the first of its kind following the Irish ratification of the treaty in 2019.  

Chair of the Irish Observatory on Violence Against Women (IOVAW), Orla O’Connor said:  

“This visit comes at a really crucial time. 2022 was a really difficult year for women, as violence against women in this country is at crisis levels. 2023 is shaping up to be just as bad – with a woman a week killed at the beginning of the year. The government’s Zero Tolerance Strategy is very positive, but it’s important that it’s properly resourced and implemented now.”  

The National Women’s Council chairs and convenes the IOVAW, which is a network of 22 organisations working in the area of violence against women. We submitted a shadow report to GREVIO in August 2022. The report made 102 recommendations across key articles of the Istanbul Convention, and particularly highlighted the lack of data on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV), the urgency of increasing the number of refuge beds available for women fleeing domestic abuse, and the legal difficulties faced by women victim/survivors of domestic violence. We have also called for the Domestic Homicide Review to be progressed.  

It’s now imperative that the statutory DSGBV agency tasked with the implementation and monitoring of the government’s Zero Tolerance Strategy is established. Data collection, timeframes, and KPIs for the strategy all sit with this agency. It’s particularly important that civil society organisations and specialist NGOs are involved with this agency every step of the way.  

Ivanna Youtchak, NWC’s Violence Against Women Coordinator, said:  

“It’s also crucial that government takes an intersectional approach to DSGBV. We know for example that, after gender, disability is the single biggest risk factor for gender-based violence. Government must ensure all services are designed with disabled women in mind. They must also ensure minoritised groups, such as migrant women, Traveller women, and LGBTQ people – including trans women – do not face obstacles in accessing services.” 


For comment: Orla O’Connor or Ivanna Youtchak 

Find here a further briefing on the visit: https://www.nwci.ie/images/uploads/NWC_briefing_on_GREVIO_visit.pdf 

Find the IOVAW report to GREVIO: https://www.nwci.ie/learn/publication/national_observatory_on_violence_against_women_and_girls_shadow_report 

For more information, please contact Sinéad Nolan, NWC Communications and Social Media Coordinator,on sineadn@nwci.ie  

About NWC  

The National Women’s Council is the leading national representative organisation for women and women’s groups in Ireland, founded in 1973. We have over 190 member groups and a large and growing community of individual supporters. 

This year we celebrate 50 years since our foundation with a special calendar of events and campaigns. 

The ambition of the National Women’s Council is an Ireland where every woman enjoys true equality and no woman is left behind. This ambition shapes and informs our work, and, with our living values, how we work.  

We are a movement-building organisation rooted in our membership, working on the whole island of Ireland. We are also part of the international movement to protect and advance women’s and girls’ rights. Our purpose is to lead action for the achievement of women’s and girls’ equality through mobilising, influencing, and building solidarity. Find out more on www.nwci.ie