25 January 2021 National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic addresses the participants of the Women's Parliamentary Network conference

25 January 2021 National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic addresses the participants of the Women's Parliamentary Network conference

Monday, 25 January 2021

Dacic at the WPN Conference: Respect for Young Actresses’ Courage to Oppose Violence

The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic addressed the participants of the conference of the Women's Parliamentary Network "on the state of gender equality in Serbia", saying he wanted to share his respect for the young actresses’ courage to oppose violence.


Dacic said that, regardless of the decisions of the judiciary whose work no one has the right or intention to interfere in, the young actresses’ very decision to talk about violence and seek protection from bullies is worthy of our greatest respect.

"Their fight is a huge encouragement to all other victims to do the same and stand up to their perpetrators, and it is our duty to provide protection and refuge to each of them," said the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic at the WPN conference.

He added that, unfortunately, our society is still relatively closed and burdened with prejudice.

"We have to make this a thing of the past, and I am convinced that today we will take at least a small step towards a Serbia where women are protected and respected," Dacic added.

National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic spoke of the recent celebration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 20th anniversary of the UN’s establishment of it as a reminder of our collective duty to eradicate violence against women in any shape and form.

"This day is not only a symbol, it was also a wake-up call for the pandemic stricken that as many as 15 million women around the globe are exposed to some kind of violence while quarantined with their families. That is why it is very important to discuss gender equality at today's conference during the pandemic. In almost a year of the pandemic, our society and each of us have shown our best qualities - solidarity, care for the elderly, we have helped each other, but, unfortunately, these extraordinary circumstances have also brought the worst to the surface, primarily everything about violence against women", Dacic said.

He stressed that we must stand up for women at this conference, even more than we do when not burdened with the fight against the virus.

"No emergency or stressful situation, such as a viral epidemic, can become an excuse or an occasion to violate any human or women's rights. Our colleagues, wives, mothers and daughters are on the front line in the fight against COVID in our health centres, even today when mass vaccination is underway," said the National Assembly Speaker.

He said that women protect us from diseases with their knowledge, patience and attention.

"And soon, when we free Serbia from the dangers of the virus, we must find a way to thank our women doctors and nurses with dignity and with all our hearts for everything they have done for the benefit of their people in difficult times", Ivica Dacic said.

The following is the speech of the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in its entirety:

"Dear Prime Minister, dear colleagues, MPs, distinguished representatives of international organizations,

I am very pleased to participate in every activity of the Women's Parliamentary Network, I am always grateful when you invite me, because the Network is one of our most active and in my opinion one of the most important bodies within the National Assembly. That is why I believe that it is the duty of the National Assembly Speaker to respond to your every call, to work closely with you and to promote the goals of the Network in general.

In the eight years since it was launched, the Women's Parliamentary Network has shown that it can rightly be the leader of a broad social movement centred on defending women's rights to equality, constantly promoting those rights and especially eradicating all forms of violence against women. Our institutional protection of women's rights is at a high level, we also have good laws and an extensive network of institutions that deal with these issues, but that is not enough. In order for women's rights and their specific interests to be maximally protected, it is necessary for all of us in public office to defend those rights everywhere, it is necessary to remind ourselves and the whole society that our work is not done, as long as one woman in Serbia thinks she is discriminated against, threatened or subordinated in any way.

We recently had the opportunity to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and also 20 years since the United Nations established this day, as a reminder of our collective duty to eradicate violence against women in any shape and form. This day is not only a symbol, it was also a wake-up call for the pandemic stricken that as many as 15 million women around the globe are exposed to some kind of violence while quarantined with their families. That is why it is very important to discuss gender equality at today's conference during the pandemic. In almost a year of the pandemic, our society and each of us have shown our best qualities - solidarity, care for the elderly, we have helped each other, but, unfortunately, these extraordinary circumstances have also brought the worst to the surface, primarily everything about violence against women.

We must also stand up for women at this conference, even more than we do at a time when we are not burdened with the fight against the virus. No emergency and stressful situation, such as a viral epidemic, should become an excuse or an occasion to violate any human and women's rights. Our colleagues, wives, mothers and daughters are on the first line of the fight against COVID in all our health centres, even today when mass vaccination is underway. They protect us from disease with their knowledge, patience and attention, and soon, when we free Serbia from the dangers of the virus, we must find a way to thank all our women doctors and nurses with dignity and with all our hearts for everything they have done for the benefit of their people in difficult times.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, as the Speaker of the National Assembly, but above all as q son, husband and the father of a young girl, I would like to express my great respect for the courage of our young actresses to oppose violence. Regardless of the decisions of our judiciary, whose work no one has the right or intention to interfere in, the very decision of these young girls to talk about violence and seek protection from bullies is worthy of our greatest respect. Their struggle is a huge encouragement to all other victims to do the same and to stand up to their perpetrator and it is our duty to provide protection and refuge to each of them. Unfortunately, our society is still relatively closed and burdened with prejudice. We have to make this a thing of the past, and I am convinced that today we will take at least a small step towards a Serbia where women are protected and respected.

I wish you successful work at today's conference and I repeat once again that I am always ready to participate in all your activities, because I feel like an associate member of the Women's Parliamentary Network.

Thank you."


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