Press release on the occasion of statements given by Vranje Municipality officials

Brankica Janković, Commissioner for Protection of Equality condemned and assessed as inappropriate and vulgar statements by Zoran Antić. mayor of Vranje and Gradimir Jovanović, a local official, that were made in Vranje City Assembly referring to Zorana Mihajlović, Deputy-Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure.

The Commissioner said that there is no excuse for such statements and that public officials obviously either do not know or do not want to know where to draw the line between jokes and discriminatory comments.

We must be aware of the fact that rhetoric that demeans the dignity of women who are politically or publicly active is not insulting only to them, but also to all other women in our country, said the Commissioner.

Public apology is the very least that both Vranje public officials can offer to the minister, said the Commissioner and added that stereotypes and prejudice against women must be consistently and thoroughly suppressed. The culture of speech and conduct should be an integral part of political and public life, which represents the basis for creating a modern and more tolerant society something we are all striving to do.

Commissioner Janković said that all representatives of public authorities in Serbia have an additional responsibility and obligation to fight against gender stereotypes and discrimination, and that women in Serbia are entitled to dignified and respectful treatment.

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