In Hungary, the Mobilise Against Sexism project supported by the Council of Europe has been implemented by The Hungarian Women’s Lobby, EWL’s national coordination in the country.
TheHungarian Women’s Lobby (HWL) ran the Mobilise Against Sexism campaign focusing on education, media, the workplace and the public sector. HWL assisted with and facilitated the translation of COE’s Recommendation on preventing and combating sexism, which made it possible for Hungarian decision-makers and the wider public to familiarize themselves with the concerns and goals formulated by the document.
In order to ensure a real legislative change is achieved, at the end of September 2020 they reached out to the Department of Women’s Affairs (Ministry of Human Capacities), particularly to their two members of COE’s Gender Equality Commission. Although due to their heavy workload they could not meet to discuss the Recommendation and plan activities in line with it, they were open to getting information on the Recommendation and HWL’s activities and programs during the campaign.
On 21st October, HWL held the main event of its campaign, a webinar titled ‘It Would Benefit Everyone - How to Eliminate Sexism?’ discussing the Recommendation and the necessary steps for a more equal future. The guest speakers were Zita Gurmai (politician, Council of Europe), Boróka Parászka (journalist), Andrea Sebestyén (lawyer, expert of workplace sexual harassment), Edina Heal (founder of Egyenlítő Foundation, former country director of Google), and Borbála Juhász (HWL) was the moderator.
Firstly, HWL’s Chair, Réka Sáfrány presented the most important messages and the country-specific aims of the Council of Europe’s Mobilise Against Sexism campaign. Then, for the main part of the event, the guest speakers discussed the definition of sexism and described their personal experience. None of the guests works in traditionally feminine sectors or positions, and thanks to their various backgrounds, many topics were covered during the webinar.
Zita Gurmai concentrated on politics and policymaking and gave examples of sexism towards female politicians, which is extremely common in Hungary as we know both from the many testimonies of women in the field and from research that continues to indicate concerning results.
Edina Heal expressed the importance of workplace culture and codes of conduct, pointing out the importance of early childhood gender socialization, as well as the fair division of unpaid labour. Andrea Sebestyén highlighted a common practice in today’s society: discrediting a woman because of her sex when her skills and competencies do not allow for any other criticism. Therefore, she talked in favour of gender mainstreaming and awareness raising campaigns instead of rewarding positive examples against sexism or the punishment of sexist behaviour.
Boróka Parászka concentrated on autocratic regimes and their inherent sexism and reminded that hybrid regimes (intentionally) misunderstand the definition of ‘gender’ and disregard the importance of equality. Nearly all of the 47 people (and 4 journalists) registered for the webinar participated in the event, and 540 viewers followed via Facebook Live. The Facebook eventreached more than 8.500 people organically, and the Facebook Live video later reached more than a thousand people.
HWL’s main platform for giving out information on the campaign was Facebook as it is the most popular social media website in Hungary. This is how the HWL was able to share the webinar, articles and interviews in relation to sexism, as well as the quiz and the campaign pictures, and ensure they reach and influence a wide and diverse audience.
To learn more about EWL’s collaborative Mobilise against sexism project and its implementation in other European countries click here.
To learn more about the Council of Europe’s campaign See it. Name it. Stop it. click here.