On 1st June 2023, the European Commission accessed the Istanbul Convention, a legal framework which aims to protect women from all forms of violence. By accessing the Istanbul Convention, the EU commits to prevent, prosecute, and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence.
This political action constitutes an extremely important step for the full protection of deaf women and girls within the European Union. Still today, deaf women and girls are exposed to a higher risk of violence and often face multiple forms of discrimination due to gender and disability. Among the main barriers experienced by deaf women and girls, several issues have been raised regarding the communication of their requirements to ensure preventive protection against violence, when accessing services, reporting abuse, or seeking justice. Discrimination and violence, against women and girls with disabilities, continues to prevail in institutions “behind closed doors” – the EU must take action to raise awareness of this form of violence against women in order to shine a light on it and put a stop to it.
EUD welcomes the EU’s accessing the Istanbul Convention and calls on institutions to utilise this legal instrument to ensure self-advocacy, as well as independent living skills of deaf women and girls. Within its work programme, EUD aims to provide a clear perspective on deaf women and girls, by organising specific workshops aiming to empower deaf women’s role in society. With the accessing of the Istanbul Convention, the EU legally commits itself to increase the efforts to promote the safety of deaf women and girls. Finally, EUD calls the EU to actively involve deaf women in policy-making processes which will help shape more inclusive and anti-discriminatory measures.