Women MPs Call For Continuing Fight Against Pay Gap, Protecting Victims Of Violence

By 8 March 2022
Women MPs Call For Continuing Fight Against Pay Gap, Protecting Victims Of Violence
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ZAGREB, 8 March 2022 - A group of female MPs from different parties warned on Tuesday, on International Women's Day, about the unequal and unfair status of women in the Croatian society, and called for continuing to fight against the pay gap between women and men and securing protection for victims of domestic violence.

Offering her best wishes to women on their day, Sandra Benčić of the Green-Left Bloc said they wanted to raise key legislative issues such as those related to women and their right to a home, unfair and unequal ownership of resources, the issue of women workers and the right to the dignity of work and fair pay.

Benčić said they wanted to express support for women refugees, notably those from Ukraine, as well as all women exposed to war, violence and exile.

State should secure cheap housing for women victims of violence

Benčić said they wanted the state and local authorities to secure access to cheap public housing for women victims of violence so they could deal with the issue of the right to a home.

She wondered how it was possible that perpetrators of domestic violence did not have to leave their households while women and children had to move to shelters, and why the state had not secured minimum protection for women and children from the perpetrator invading their home after he serves two or three days in prison, which, she said, is the usual punishment.

"We think this should be regulated differently by law, in cases in violence the right to a home cannot and must not be treated as less important than the right of ownership. In this country absolutely nothing has been done for 30 years to enable women to acquire ownership of real estate the same way as men, notably in rural areas where very often they end up in the street and homeless," said Benčić.

Anka Mrak Taritaš of GLAS said that around 22 million women affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine were in a life threatening situation or were travelling with their children to other countries.

Basic conditions for life, work of Ukrainian women

Mrak Taritaš said that those women should be provided with at least minimum conditions for life and work.

Katarina Peović of the Workers' Front said that International Women's Day commemorated the struggle of working women in Chicago for greater voting rights as well as labour rights.

"It is a day when we speak of the need for a higher pay for women, safer working conditions and a better life. That has been recognised by women's associations across Croatia and today they are organising a march under the slogan "March today, strike tomorrow" because they know that there can be no women's rights without equal material rights, wages and working conditions," she said.

If the new Labour Act, which the government has been working on for two years, is adopted, employers will be literally able to ask a worker to be available 24 hours a day, she said.

While the world is turning to initiatives for the right to disconnect during non-work hours, the new law aims to make working hours more flexible and introduces "unclear terminology" that will make it possible, through digital technology, to make a worker available 24 hours a day, she said.

Katica Glamuzina of the Social Democrats' parliamentary bench said that instead of making progress in more than 100 years of struggle for gender equality, one had to continue discussing the pay gap, the fight against gender-based violence, femicide, and ways to break the glass ceiling.

Without equality for women in society, a sustainable future for the entire world is out of reach, she stressed, noting that one should also talk about climate change as it affects women more because women make up the majority of the global population living in poverty and depending on natural resources that are also affected by climate change.