PUBLIC REACTION OF WOMEN’s NETWORK OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA REGARDING NON-PROFESSIONAL AND SEXIST STATEMENT OF SEMIR EFENDIĆ, MAYOR OF NOVI GRAD MUNICIPALITY
Female representatives of Women’s Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ŽMBiH) strongly condemn the statement of Semir Efendić, Mayor of Novi Grad municipality, and request a public apology for unprofessional and derogatory comments he wrote in relation to the information on establishment of informal club of women Members of Parliament in House of Representatives of FBiH.
Establishment of this form of club expresses a need of MPs to cooperate more efficiently in making laws and policies aimed to improvement of status and protection of (human) rights of all citizens.
Furthermore, freedom of gathering and associating is guaranteed by domestic legislation, persuant to Article 11. of the European Convention on Human Rights and Freedoms.
Statement of Semir Efendić, Mayor of Novi Grad municipality:
“Gender affiliation is totally wrong basis for political organization and can only harm, especially women who have been brainwashed through such organisations, to the point that they are no longer capable for normal socialization with the rest of society“, demonstrates subjective patriarchal and discriminatory attitude towards women that harms to a large extent the development of BH society. ŽMBIH does not tolerate and condemns public and private opinion and attitudes that women are by tradition and patriarchal postulates needless in political and public life of BiH.
Semir Efendic, Mayor of Novi Grad municipality, has not through his retrograde statements only deteriorated the dignity and integrity of women politicians, but of all women. Using a „speech of hatred“ against women that is opposite to national legislation and international conventions, Mr. Efendić called for elimination of women from the political context and the reduction of women’s participation in this segment.
ŽMBIH believes that sexist and discriminatory statements must be sanctioned by the state, especially if these statements are given by those responsible for the establishment of equal opportunity conditions regardless to sex and gender affiliation. We request from representatives of authorized institutions to FINALLY take over responsibility and start doing their job for which they were paid by all citizens, and to sanction all forms of violence and discrimination against women by men, regardless of whether discrimination or violence was carried out in the public or private space.
If something is not dome about this issue, BH society will fall even deeper into the pit of lawlessness and hopelessness, which will furthermore send a clear image to national and international public, international institutions as well as to European Union that violence against women, but also against other and dissimilar citizens, is institutionally allowed and tolerated in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On behalf of ŽMBiH, its members, women organizations dealing with the issues of women’s human rights across the country, condemn all forms of violence and discrimination against women, and demand from relevant individuals and institutions to protect the public from people who exploit their power.
We demand from competent institutions to create Safety Strategy, as to protect all women whose safety was compromised or could be compromised at any level.
ŽMBiH does not want society which will tolerate sexist and discriminatory behaviour in private or in public, and states that Mr. Efendić is a sexist and discriminator and as such can not perform a function that requires uphold of laws and supports positive and affirmative actions, which are for the benefit of all citizens!
Through this protest letter we express our dissatisfaction regarding the statement of Mr. Efendić and invite public and all human rights organizations to react and demand from Mr. Efendić to APOLOGIZE IN PUBLIC to informal club of women MPs in House of Representatives of the FBiH Parliament, as well as to all women, for violation of dignity of women and unequal positioning of women in social and political life.