A network of organisations working to improve Ireland's response to violence against women has called on the Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention.

The convention is a framework under the Council of Europe for Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.

It was signed by Ireland in 2015 but has not yet been ratified.

The Irish Observatory on Violence Against Women said real political leadership was needed and called on the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, to outline the steps he will take to ensure Ireland ratifies the convention without delay.

The organisation held a seminar which heard that one in five Irish women experience domestic violence.

Orla O'Connor of the National Women's Council of Ireland and chair of the observatory said the sheer number of women speaking out had changed the context in Ireland.

However, she said that while there had been progress, what was desperately missing was a strategic approach to tackling violence against women.

Ms O'Connor said that this was provided for in a comprehensive framework under the convention.

In response, the Department of Justice said there is only one legislative action remaining before the Istanbul Convention can be ratified by Ireland. 

This relates to laws around extraterritorial jurisdiction. It said this is provided for in the Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Bill which it hoped will be passed by the Oireachtas in the New Year.