ZAGREB, March 7, 2020 – Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Davor Bernardić said on Saturday that he was not discriminating against anyone, least of all women, and that his statement about the party’s coordinators for the forthcoming elections was misinterpreted.
He was responding to negative comments triggered by his statement in an interview with Hina that there were no women among the SDP coordinators for the forthcoming elections because it was no time for experimentation and this work should be done by “proven operatives on the ground.”
“These days we can see some trying to accuse me and the SDP of discrimination against women. I can see that some have tried to misinterpret my statements today as well. My statement may have been awkward, but that doesn’t mean I’m not aware of women’s contribution to the SDP, to the campaign, and how responsibly and hard they work on the ground,” Bernardić said on his Facebook page.
By suggesting a zipped nominations model, with women and men candidates alternating in terms of their placement on the election list, “I wanted to show that I value and respect their work, and I will show that again in putting together lists for the forthcoming elections. I am not discriminating against anyone, least of all women, because women will continue to have my absolute support as they have so far. For me, more women in politics means better, more responsible and more honest politics, which also means a better Croatia.”
He said he was proud and happy that all SDP lists for the Croatian parliament would have 50 percent of women and 50 percent of men, which in turn would ensure the equal number of women and men in politics.
“I call on other parties to follow our path. It doesn’t cost any money, but it does cost a lot of effort, and a few bruised male egos. My message to those who are attacking me is that I will take a step further in expanding women’s rights in the party by introducing a parity in elections for party bodies. Our task is to build gender equality into the foundations of our society,” Bernardić said.
He concluded his post by wishing all women a happy Women’s Day, marked on 8 March.
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