Istanbul Convention: Poland leaves the European treaty on violence against women

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Protests against the planned withdrawal took place on Friday


Poland will withdraw from a European treaty aimed at preventing violence against women, the country’s justice minister announced on Saturday.

Zbigniew Ziobro said the document, known as the Istanbul Convention, was “harmful” because it required schools to teach children about gender.

He added that the reforms introduced in the country in recent years provided sufficient protection for women.

Thousands of women protested against the move to cities in Poland.

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Ziobro said the government would officially begin the process of withdrawing from the treaty, ratified in 2015, on Monday.

He argued that the convention violates the rights of parents and “contains elements of an ideological nature”.

The ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) and its coalition partners are closely linked to the Catholic Church, and the government has pledged to promote traditional family values.

President Andrzej Duda was re-elected earlier this month following a campaign in which he described the promotion of LGBT rights as a more destructive “ideology” than communism.

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Media captionPoland has been called the worst country in the EU for LGBT rights

Thousands of people, mostly women, took to the streets of the capital Warsaw on Friday to campaign against the withdrawal of the Istanbul Convention.

“The aim is to legalize domestic violence,” Magdalena Lempart, organizer of a march in the city, told Reuters news agency.

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