Women’s Network of Croatia Asks PM-Designate Orešković to Protect Women’s Rights

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Women’s rights brought to the attention of PM-designate Tim Oreskovic. 

Women’s Network of Croatia has sent an open letter to Croatian Prime Minister-designate Tihomir Orešković, asking him to take into account the issues of gender equality and women’s rights when choosing ministers for the new government, reports Vecernji List on January 10, 2016.

Women’s Network, which brings together more than 30 NGOs, asked the future prime minister not to name to government and other state bodies people whose actions and statements indicate that their intention is to reduce the achieved level of gender equality and women’s human rights. They are concerned with statements about the abolition of laws which ensure basic women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health, and in particular the right to freely decide on giving birth and to use assisted reproductive procedures. Also, according to available information, the future government will not have a female deputy prime minister, and there will be just a few ministerial posts given to female candidates.

“We are resolutely against the appointment to the government of people who publicly advocate discriminatory policies and reducing the rights of women. These are people who have advocated in their public statements the adoption of laws and public policies that would violate the constitutional and legislative provisions on gender equality”, says the letter. They point out that they are talking about Ante Ćorušić, a candidate for Health Minister; Davor Šterc, who is being mentioned as a candidate to lead the possible newly-established Demographic Renewal Ministry; and Boris Kunst, a candidate for the Labour Minister.

“Boris Kunst is known for his efforts to legalize prostitution. Ante Ćorušić advocates the abolition of old abortion laws and the introduction of the so-called Polish model which dramatically reduces the rights of women to abortion.” Women’s Network says that the Polish model prohibits abortion on woman’s request and has led to an increase in the number of illegal abortions and the so-called “abortion tourism”. Abortion thus became inaccessible to poor women and families and has been transferred to the “gray zone”, which entails even greater discrimination and even deeper social divide.

Women’s Network of Croatia points out that Ante Ćorušić has spoken about the abolition of the law on medically assisted fertilization and freezing of embryos, which would again result in a discrimination against women because not all women can afford fertility treatments abroad. In addition to Orešković, the organization sent the letter to the leaders of the Patriotic Coalition Tomislav Karamarko and MOST Božo Petrov.


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