Statement of Commissioner regarding the insulting speech in public space

Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic points out that despite numerous warnings, public speech is still full of inappropriate misogynistic, sexist statements, as well as insults, related to women who have reported sexual violence or to women who have drawn attention to violence. Commissioner once again warns that all participants in the political and public life of Serbia are obliged to take care that their statements do not exceed the limits prescribed by the Constitution and laws, emphasizing that the publicly spoken word must be carefully chosen.

The tension that has been raised over the claims of Marinika Tepic regarding employment in the public sector shows that one has to be careful when making public accusations. No generalization is good, including this case, when some women can certainly feel offended. If these allegations are true, women should be encouraged to report sexual harassment and get adequate support and assistance. The state and its institutions have a duty to empower every citizen to report discrimination or any form of sexual harassment and violence, to provide protection and adequate sanctions. On the other hand, Commissioner points out that although disagreements, denials, different attitudes and criticisms are legitimate, they must not contain insults, belittling and sexist statements, as did the response from Dragan Markovic.

Due to this way of communication in the public space, the main problem remains in the shadows, and women who are most endangered are not being encouraged, but on the contrary  – are discouraged from reporting any kind of violence. Women should not be a training ground for political confrontations and abuses of any kind, Commissioner concludes.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
back to top