Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban in Brussels in February.
Riccardo Pareggiani/NurPhoto /Getty
  • Hungary rejected the Istanbul Convention, an international agreement aimed at combating violence against women, including abuses such as genital mutilation and marital rape.
  • United Nations data predicts global domestic violence will increase by 20% while much of the globe is on lockdown.
  • The rejection comes just weeks after the government began trying to push through a law that would end legal recognition of trans people in Hungary.
  • As the government voted against ratification, outnumbered female politicians held up signs covered in sexist quotes made by male politicians in earlier parliament sessions.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The Hungarian parliament - one of the most male-dominated legislatures in Europe - has rejected ratifying a treaty that aims to stop violence against women.

Just weeks after the government tried pushing through a law that would end legal recognition of trans people in Hungary, the government refused to sign on to an international convention designed to combat violence against women.

The Istanbul Convention is the first binding agreement aimed at stopping and combating violence against women, according to The Guardian.

Its intent is to prevent abuses like female genital mutilation and marital rape. It comes as United Nations data predicts global domestic violence will increase by 20% while much of the globe is on lockdown.

In 2014, the convention was signed by much of Europe, as well as Hungary. But on May 5, The Guardian reported, Hungary ultimately declined to ratify the agreement. Hungary's government also backed a declaration that said the convention promoted "destructive gender ideologies" and "illegal immigration."

Late last year, Euro News reported that one in every five women in Hungary are in a physically abusive relationship, based on 2018 data collected by Women for Women against Violence.

During the May 5 vote against ratification, outnumbered female politicians held up signs covered in sexist quotes made by male politicians in earlier parliament sessions.

The declaration agreed to by Hungary's ruling party asserted that the country has "the right to defend its country, culture, laws, traditions and national values and that views on gender held by the minority should not endanger this."

Lorinc Nacsa, a politician from the Christian Democrats, which is one of the parties forming Hungary's current government, said the rejected agreement was "contrary to the Hungarian legal order," according to The Guardian.

After taking power in 2010, Prime Minister Orban changed Hungary's definition of marriage, limiting it to a union between a man and a woman.

In 2018, Orban came under fire for banning gender studies from universities. A spokesperson at the time told CNN: "The government's standpoint is that people are born either male or female, and we do not consider it acceptable for us to talk about socially-constructed genders, rather than biological sexes."

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