Serbia is a secular state, according to the Constitution, where everyone has the right to freely decide about giving birth to a child. Reproductive rights and freedoms belong to the human rights corpus which must not be questioned. Imposing of obligation for women to give birth and patriarchal pattern, as the only one acceptable, is harmful to the whole society. Population policy, as one of the most important policies in all countries that are facing big demographic challenges, means existing of encouraging mechanisms for giving birth, aimed to women and men equally, as well as the care of family and responsible parenthood.
Respecting the autonomy of Serbian Orthodox Church and other religious communities, as well as religious feelings of Serbian citizens, I think that statements of church’s dignitaries should remain within a scope of religious issues and should not interfere in civilisation postulates of democratic societies, where respecting of human rights and freedoms are some of the most important ones.
Church has the right to express its attitudes within their activities and in media, but I think that statements of some church’s dignitaries are inappropriate and unfortunately offensive for women, extending the prejudices and stereotypes that could lead to discrimination. I notice that dialogue culture is still underdeveloped and we must remember that by expressing attitudes in public we contribute to understanding and development of our society or cause harm to it, concluded Commissioner Jankovic.