An MP from the Democratic Party (DS) and the chief coordinator of the Women’s Parliamentary Network, Aleksandra Jerkov said that the problem of church dignitaries attacking women who decided against becoming mothers is a problem of entire society.
However, her counterpart from the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), Marija Obradovic claims that the Democratic Party is using women’s issues to score cheap political points instead of truly fighting for women’s rights. She also says that she is appalled by lies told by the DS that the government is not creating family-conducive conditions, and encouraging a witch-hunt on women who have decided not to have children.
“It’s been a long time since I have such blatant lies. The Republic of Serbia has never invested more in promoting healthy family and facilitating birth rate, as it does now”, Obradovic adds.
“Nobody has ever attacked women in Serbia based on their decision to have children or not. In terms of the opinions propagated by the Serbian Orthodox Church, you will have to take that issue with them, if you are not happy with their stance. I interpret the Church’s statement as encouraging both the state and the women who want to become mothers to work towards creating better conditions for that, first in a material sense, and then in spiritual”, Obradovic points out.
Jerkov also said that when a group of men, who have decided not to have children, decide to publicly insult and judge women who have also decided not to have children was problem not only for women but for the entire society too. Jerkov also pointed out that the very fact that no women attended the meeting between Serbian president and the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church at which this issue had been discussed.
To remind, during the liturgy on 15th October, the Metropolitan of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, Amfilohije said that “in one year, Serbian women kill more children in their wombs than Mussolini, Hitler and Broz put together”.
The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej assessed that “women are obliged to bear children, in order to preserve the Serbian nation”. Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic spoke on Saturday with Patriarch Irinej, and in a statement after the meeting said that they both “express their concern about the extremely low birth rate in Serbia”.
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