In the framework of an international agreement known as the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe has set out the most important elements of preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Although the Hungarian government signed the Convention in 2014, it is unwilling to ratify it or incorporate it into Hungarian law.
However, the question of MSZP's parliamentary representative Dr. Zita Gurmai to the Minister of Justice Judit Varga does not let the matter be forgotten. However, the Ministry is stubbornly sticking to the government mantra: "In recent years, the Government of Hungary, as stated by the Minister at the hearing, has put in place all the necessary legal provisions and funds to support the fight against domestic violence and to protect the victims." All that they forgot to add was “disperse people, there is nothing to see here.”
The reality, on the other hand, is much more serious. On the one hand, it denounces a government before the international community when it signs a convention but does not want to ratify it even after five years. It is right to ask in similar cases whether the support provided by Hungary will bear any significance in the future.
On the other hand, the essence of the case cannot be emphasized enough. Among the countries of the developed world, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark or neighboring Austria, for that matter, have ratified the convention. In these countries, they do not deny the fight against the problem; obviously, they take it a lot more seriously than Hungary.
However, violence against women and domestic violence is at least as real in Hungary as in these countries. In Hungary, as in European countries, half of adult women have experienced some form of sexual harassment; and one fifth of women over the age of 15, i.e. nearly 1 million women, are victims of some form of physical and / or sexual violence against women. Domestic violence takes the life of a woman at least once a week. On average, women in Hungary suffer 5 beatings before seeking help.
The Hungarian state also has a lot to do in dealing with this problem. The ratification of the Convention is hampered by the fact that the government has not yet created the necessary legal conditions: five years was not enough to ensure that the Criminal Code be amended. If they devoted as much energy to protecting Hungarian women as to covering up the case of the mayor “with the blind dog,” there would be no obstacle in the way of ratifying the Istanbul Convention in Hungary. We cannot, of course, expect anything else from a party whose representative is not condemned for finding women's self-realization acceptable only after giving birth to three or four children, but for admitting in a moment of truth that quality journalists are not to be looked for in the conservative right wing press but the other side. Of course, according to the above-mentioned government MP, the problem of domestic violence would not even arise if Hungarian parents had not only one or two but four-five children.
Even so, it is particularly saddening that, despite a woman, Judit Varga, becoming the country's Minister of Justice, the government's willingness to do anything to stop violence against women has not changed one bit.