The reality behind the Istanbul convention: Shattering conservative delusions

Martina Bosak, Maja Munivrana Vajda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper analyzes the long process of ratification of the Istanbul Convention in Croatia and its political instrumentalization. The Convention was ratified in 2018, following a strong anti-ratification campaign which exemplifies the strengthening of a global pushback against women's rights. The conservative movement behind this campaign, which is still ongoing - with the shifted goal of withdrawing from the Convention through the mechanism of referendum, spread a number of misconceptions about the Convention, based foremost on the narrative that the Convention would impose an undesirable “gender ideology”. The aim of this paper is to shatter these delusions by first deconstructing the notions of gender, gender ideology and gender-based violence, and then by exploring the extent to which gender (identity) already plays a role within Croatian legal system, including through the jurisprudence of the ECtHR. The last part focuses on particular positive novelties the Istanbul Convention will bring to Croatian society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender
  • Gender ideology
  • Gender-based violence
  • Istanbul convention
  • Sex
  • Stereotypes


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