Women’s rights organizations: We are not having children to please the state

‘Zene u Crnom’ and nine other women’s rights organizations have strongly condemned the statement  made by the Serbian president in which he “asked” women to understand Serbia’s needs and have more children. The women’s organizations called the President’s appeal “degrading” because it reduces them to baby-popping machines that are producing future cheap workforce.

“We will have not children for the sake of a country, a nation, a church, an army or a party”, the 10 NGOs said, following the statement that Aleksandar Vucic gave on Saturday in which he says that “Serbia will not survive without a higher birth rate”.

“Furthermore, it is very clear from Vucic’s statement, as well as from the statements and the shameful campaigns that preceded that this appeal to have more children is meant for heterosexual women of Serb ethnicity, while the others are excluded, as the concern for demographic decline is associated with the depopulation of only the Serbian nation”, the NGOs add.

The statement goes on to say: “When Vucic started comparing Smederevo to Urosevac, Zajecar to Srbica, Gornji Milanovac to Decani, while highlighting a significant population increase in Kosovo, thinking of the Albanians and the loss of the Serbian population, everything became clear.”

The NGOs reiterate that that state’s aid to families stops at fourth child, which excludes the support for many Roma families.

“Apart from being nationalistic and racist, the statement is also misogynistic, as the president suggests that the society and especially the media should create an environment where women, who have three or four children, “will be respected and loved, and not shunned by the society, because they do not have enough time to go out, shoe-shop and put on nice clothes”.

Women’s organizations point out that the government’s austerity measures had the biggest effect women, and that the government’s ban on hiring more workers applied to those sectors where women make up the majority of the workforce, such as health and education.

“This is about human rights that are not for sale. The president offers state financial assistance in exchange for restrictions on abortion rights”, the statement said.

The statement concludes that Vucic’s statement serves to deflect attention from other social and economic problems by making women responsible for the sharp decline in birth rate.

The statement was signed by the following organizations – ‘Zene u Crnom”, Autonomni Zenski Centar, Zenski Fond Rekonstrukcija, Romska Zenska Mreza, Organizacija za Lezbejska Ljudska Prava – Labris, Mreza Zene Protiv Nasilja, Mreza Zena Rasinskog Okruga, Udruzenje zena Pescanik from Krusevac and  Nena – Grupa za Mir i Prava Zena from Leskovac.

(Danas, 19.03.2018)



This post is also available in: Italiano

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