WHAT IS IT ABOUT IN THE CONVENTION OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL ABOUT THE VIOLENCE TOWARDS WOMEN
Two years ago an Act of Violence in a family was deeply novelised and at that time the government stated that it was introducing complex changes which would protect it effectively from violence. At that time there appeared social protests against many solutions of this Act which has recently been implemented in life, involving over a million new people in its realisation (among the others, teachers and doctors who were obliged to fill in the so-called blue card). At present the government is thinking over signing the convention of the European Council in the matter of preventing and fighting against violence towards women which is compatible with the feminist ideology and goes quite further than the solutions accepted recently. Here are a few controversies with this convention.
Can sexes be chosen?
According to the definition included in the convention, ‘sexes mean socially constructed roles, behaviours, actions and features which a particular society considers to be suitable for women and men’. This statement was introduced by feminist trends and it completely omits a biological aspect of sexes. While, in the European tradition, a definition of sexes is firmly stated, including biological differences between women and men and it is a base for the family and personal law. Such a changed definition has colossal practical consequences and threatens family relations protected in the 18th article of the Constitution, commanding to support the relationship between a woman and a man, family, motherhood and parenthood; whereas the definition of the convention commands to recognise freely defined aims and behaviours as a determinant of sexes. Consequently, it will be a gate to the institutionalisation of the so-called new family forms, including the relationships of the same sexes. In this aspect the convention is contradictory with the solutions of our Constitution. After accepting it, the country will not be able any longer to rely on the traditional way of understanding the marriage.
Equal rights – unequal
Although it is formally said about unequal treating women and men, the convention understands inequality in detailed solutions. It does it perfectly in the article 4.4: ‘Special means necessary to prevent women from violence conditioned by sexes and their protection against the violence are not a discrimination, according to the provisions of this convention’. So, the convention assumes inequality in treating the sexes, through which it antagonizes women and men, whom it regards as potential aggressors.
A fight against tradition
The convention introduces a duty of a fight against tradition and the civilisational wealth, and it does it for example in the article 12.1: ‘Parties use necessary means in social and cultural patterns of behaviours among women and men in order to take root out prejudices, customs and any other practices based on the notion of inferiority of women or on stereotypic roles of women and men’. This provision allows for a fight for example against paternity of motherhood which are stereotypic roles of women and men. It is an evidence for misunderstanding of tradition and fixed positive social norms, not perceiving the wealth of generations in them, which enriches our civilisation. In the eyes of the authors of the convention, the stereotypes are connected with sexes present in tradition and culture, in which we live and they are to be necessarily changed. This provision assumes that tradition is a factor leading to violence. As a result, this attitude may lead to a situation when the country will not support motherhood or marriage but it will strongly promote for example single life (not traditional), directed only to career, it may also mean a fight against the Church which is trying to protect positive traditions. In the notion of the convention the engagement of married couples in maintaining traditional culture of relations between them, makes them co-responsible for violence in regard of sexes.
Promotion of single-sex couples
The convention imposes on countries a duty of education, among the others, in the field which is presented in the article 14.1: ‘Parties undertake, in suitable cases, necessary actions in order to include educational materials on such issues as: equality between women and men, non-stereotypic roles of sexes. Mutual respect, solving conflicts in interpersonal relations without using violence, violence towards women conditioned by sexes and the right for integration of a person, adjusted to developing abilities of those learning in formal educational programs and on all educational levels’.
This provision means a duty of education and promotion of homosexuality or trans-sexuality. For example, it will completely change the character of the subject concerning pro-family education at schools.
In the end, it is worth saying that the realisation of the convention is to be supervised by the international organ which will deprive us of our sovereignty in deciding about family matters and ethical values and the cost of its introduction is estimated for 160 million zlotys.
The author is a sociologist, a member of the Team for Family of the Common Commission of the Government and the Polish Episcopate