Ivana Radačić on the under-representation of women in Parliament

In an interview for the website Queer.hr, Ivana Radačić, associate at the Ivo Pilar Institute and active member of civil society, commented, among other things, on the record low number of women in Parliament in the last ten years:

Q: How would you comment on one of the lowest percentages of women in Parliament in Croatian history, which is far below the EU standards? Do you think that in Croatia there is still gender based discrimination? How is that form of discrimination usually manifested?

A: I think that the under-representation of women in all government bodies and on all levels of decision-making is very problematic from several aspects, including the symbolic level from which the message is sent, and testifies to the omnipresence of patriarchy in our society. I believe that sex discrimination still exists all around us, and it manifests itself, apart from the problem of under-representation of women in almost all social spheres, as different forms of violence against women, workplace discrimination and human rights violations.

Apart from the need to change the cultural patterns in order to abolish gender stereotypes which are particularly evident in criminal procedures against sexual assaults, we need many other law reforms. I believe it is unacceptable to sanction domestic violence as misdemeanor, for which the maximum sentence is 90 days in prison (while in practice a fine is usually imposed instead), even in the cases of severe and repeated violence, as was the case with a recent murder in Zagreb which was preceded by a misdemeanor procedure against the perpetrator.

In my study of rape verdicts of the County Court in Zagreb I came across a case where the woman was a victim of brutal domestic violence for years, and more than ten times this violence was treated as a misdemeanor before it was brought before the Municipal Court, when the woman spoke about the rapes for the first time – over 30 instances, for which the Country Court had given a conditional discharge.

Source: Queer.hr