The Convention defines violence against women as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women. Violence against women means all gender-based acts of violence, including threats, that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm.
The provisions of the Convention, while promoting the combat of violence against women, promote also the idea of equal opportunities for women and men. Today, the behaviour patterns of women and men are often influenced by prejudices and gender-based stereotypes as well as by customs based on the conviction that women play a less significant role than men. The Convention obliges the signatories to take actions to eliminate such prejudices, customs and practices.
Respecting the provisions of the Convention will strengthen the current national policy to counteract violence within the family. Signing the Convention will also be a manifestation of solidarity with other countries where counteracting violence is a priority.
The Council of Ministers, giving consent to sign the Convention, announced that its provisions would be applied in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. Until 14 November 2012, 25 out of 47 member States of the Council of Europe (including 14 EU Member States) have signed the Convention. The Convention has been signed by: Albania, Austria, Montenegro, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Spain, Netherlands, Iceland, Luxembourg, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Italy. One of those countries has ratified the Convention, that is Turkey.