[Brussels, 15 February 2013] Following an inaugural event marking the formation of a cross-party network of female parliamentarians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the mayor of Novi Grad, a municipality in Sarajevo dismissed it as ‘brainwashing’.
Commenting on a picture of the event on facebook, Semir Efendi? asserted that “Sex is a completely wrong basis for political organization and can only do harm, especially to women who through such organizations get brain washed to the point where they are no longer capable of normal socialization with the rest of the society.”
Representatives of the Women’s Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ŽMBiH) have strongly condemned Efendi?’s remarks and released a brief statement. “ŽMBIH believes that the sexist and discriminatory statements must have sanctions, especially if these statements are coming from those who are responsible for the establishment of conditions of equal opportunity regardless of gender and gender roles. We ask that representatives / authorized institutions to take responsibility and begin to do their job for which they are payed by the citizens, and to sanction all forms of violence and discrimination against women by men, regardless of whether the discrimination or violence is carried out in the public or in private space.”
Cross-parliamentary networks like that recently formed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the 50/50 campaign led by the European Women’s Lobby with a group of MEP’s, are essential in furthering women’s fair and equal representation in political decision-making. The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) would like to congratulate the female parliamentarians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, supporting their call for sanctions against discrimination, and condemn Mayor Efendi? for his retrograde and misinformed statement.
Read more here.