Comments on the physical appearance of prof. Darija Tepavcevic Kisic PhD, who have been present on social networks for several days, especially on Twitter, are insulting and reinforce sexist stereotypes that women in office cannot have professional competencies, but those positions are the result of their appearance, warns Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic.
Dr. Kisic informs the public about the activities related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Serbia, from the position of a professor, epidemiologist, i.e. from the aspect of the profession and the function she performs. On that occasion, she is exposed to insulting and humiliating speech every day, in which her appearance, way of dressing, accent with which she speaks, etc. are commented on.
Jankovic stresses that this is the latest of many examples in which a woman is belittled and insulted because of her physical appearance, regardless of her knowledge, expertise and abilities. There is no special dress code for persons who address the public in a state of emergency, so it is a matter of personal choice of each individual, Commissioner concludes and reminds that harassment and degrading treatment aimed at violating the dignity of a person based on any protected characteristics is form of discrimination.