Thursday, 05 April 2018 11:12

Communication by two parliamentary committees regarding the statement by Mr Milan Knežević

The Gender Equality Committee and the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms warn that due to the trend of the growing number of women in political positions and in parties, there is also a growing number of violent responses to their presence in politics. Hate speech and sexism as a special form of violence represent one of the most powerful barriers that nowadays deter women from politics.

It is necessary to put an end to such behaviour and send a strong message that hate speech, sexism, insinuations, and lascivious behaviour are not considered a normal kind of activity by politicians, especially by MPs, even if the MP is serving a prison sentence; because it is their job to represent the people with dignity, with the appreciation and respect of all female and male colleagues, and not to erode the moral values of the Montenegrin society.

Any person serving as an MP has the additional responsibility to respect the human rights of others, to promote and protect them. It is therefore unacceptable for some of them to be violating them in the most inappropriate way.

Again, it is surprising that the media in Montenegro make room for hate speech and sexist statements directed at women in politics. Placing importance on such news and informing the public of them contributes to creating a hostile environment for women in politics and at the same time violates the elementary rules of journalism.                                                               

We urge all political parties, apart from the declarative commitment to gender equality, to change the environment within their parties by acting within their structures and by their male and female representatives publicly speaking out. This will contribute to the change of the social context and the development of an appropriate environment that will encourage, and not discourage, the political participation and action of women in Montenegro.