Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Plenković: Women's Equality Precondition for Modern and Healthy Society

ZAGREB, 9 March 2022 - Referring to International Women's Day on Wednesday Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that equality between women and men "is a precondition for a modern, successful and healthy society that we are building together."

"Equality between women and men is a right and a fundamental value of our constitution and legislative framework," Plenković said in his opening remarks at a cabinet meeting.

He mentioned women in Ukraine, saying that their "fundamental rights and security are threatened in these difficult circumstances" of Russian military aggression.

Plenković said that International Women's Day is an opportunity to examine women's position in Croatian society, "inequality between women and men on the labour market, discrimination, and in particular psychological and physical violence against women, and prejudices and stereotypes that cause them."

He said that equality means equal status, equal opportunity, equal reward for the results achieved, dignity and respect.

He added that his government is focused on protecting women's rights and freedoms, and resolute in condemning and fighting any form of discrimination and violence.

"I think we are changing things for the better, creating a society in which women and men live in equality in all spheres of life. That is a precondition for a modern, successful and healthy society that we are building together," the prime minister said.

Plenković congratulated Ivan Paladina on becoming the new Minister of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets, after he had received the trust of the ruling majority in Parliament. He wished him success in his work, particularly in speeding up the post-earthquake reconstruction of Zagreb and the Banovina region.

For more information on this, check out our dedicated politics section.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Milanović Visits Technical Museum Exhibition About Women

ZAGREB, 8 March 2022 - On the occasion of International Women's Day, Croatian President Zoran Milanović on Tuesday visited the exhibition titled "Women and Technology – Exhibition of Gender Inclusive Themes", staged in Zagreb's Nikola Tesla Technical Museum.

The exhibition was opened on 13 November 2021 and will run through 15 March.

It is dedicated to the promotion of women who contributed to the development of science and technology.

"The exhibition made use of permanent exhibits from the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum and includes women that are not necessarily scientists, but professionally carried out work that is typically associated with men. Furthermore, the purpose is not to single out the contributions of individual female scientists and inventors, but to strive to give a broader perspective," according to a press release issued on the website of the Office of the Croatian President.

The exhibition presents information and the destiny of prominent women "who broke down socially imposed barriers and made a name for themselves in male stereotype occupations, and the anonymous women to whom science is indebted."

The exhibition shows that in the late 19th century and 20th century there was a total of 5,280 women employed in Croatia, with almost 2,000 being maids and 1,500 in trades and industry.

Between the two world wars, women accounted for 20% of those employed in industry. In textile industry, every second worker was woman, and most of those female workers were without any qualifications or with semi-qualifications and from rural areas.

In the 1970s they accounted for more than 30% employees in industry while the process of de-industrialisation in the 1990s first affected industries that employed women.

The idea of equal pay appeared in the mid-19th century, however, the pay gap still exists in corporations.

President Milanović noticed that similar pay gaps exist in the public sector too.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

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

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.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

HUP: Women Still Under Represented in Commerce

ZAGREB, 8 March 2022 - Despite greater employability and more women in leading positions they are still insufficiently represented in the economy, particularly at the highest levels which indicates that there are still significant legal, structural and cultural obstacles to their full equality, it was heard at a conference on Tuesday.

The conference  - An economy without prejudice strengthening the economy by empowering women - was organised on the occasion of International Women's Day by the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) and International Network of Business Women.

The status of women in Croatian society hasn't changed drastically despite a lot of stakeholders being included in changing the mood and awareness, Milka Kosanović from HUP said. She said that women are still paid less than men, with women earning 84% to 87% of the pay of their male colleagues for the same job. Today 79% of girls enrol in higher education and 49% gain higher qualifications.

"When they start climbing up the career ladder, women are faced with something we know as the glass ceiling. They don't advance equally with men and certain positions are not accessible to them and they are paid 13% to 16% less for similar jobs," said Kosanović.

It is necessary to systematically work on changing the mindset of women too. Women need to be aware that they can do everything men can and society needs to live by the principles it advocates," she added.

Gordana Matković, the owner of the Educamix for the development of human potential and a member of the International Network of Business Women said that more than 100 years have passed since the start of the struggle for equal rights, however, even today we are talking about the inequality of women.

That is why in fact the network organised today's conference to motivate society to think about ways of improving the status of women.

Congratulating women on the occasion of International Women's Day HUP Director-General Damir Zorić said that things can always be better. He added that he was glad that women have recognised HUP as a possible platform where they can act and improve things.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Plenković: Women Make Society More Progressive, Humane and Better

ZAGREB, 8 March 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković congratulated women on International Women's Day on Tuesday, thanking them for making Croatian society more progressive, humane and better, and in particular for nurturing family values.

"Achieving equality for women in society is our firm commitment. With the synergy of the measures for greater employability of women, advancing demographic measures and the resolute fight against all forms of discrimination and violence against women, we are resolute in creating a society of equal opportunities," Plenković said on his Twitter account.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Jandroković Issues Message for International Women's Day

ZAGREB, 8 March 2022 - Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković extended his best wishes for International Women's Day on Tuesday, saying that a lot of effort still needed to be made to achieve equality between women and men in all spheres of society.

"Today, when we observe International Women's Day, we remember the long way women had to go to have their basic human and civil rights recognised. Although their struggle began in the early 20th century, a lot of effort still needs to be made to achieve equality between women and men in all social spheres," Jandroković said in his message.

He said that Croatia was working on empowering women and protecting their rights, that gender equality was one of the highest values of the country's constitutional system, and that the aim was to achieve a tolerant society with equal opportunities for all.

International Women's Day is an opportunity to thank all women for their daily contribution to the social, economic and cultural property of our country. By protecting women from all forms of violence and discrimination, we are ensuring their full political, economic and social equality, Jandroković said, also highlighting the need to establish a balance between women's family life and work.

He concluded by quoting Pope Francis as saying in his New Year's message that "since mothers give life and women keep this world, let us all make greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women," calling for an end to violence against women.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Women's Day in Croatia: Origins of March 8th and What It Represents Today

March 8, 2022 - International Women’s Day, a day that celebrates the economic, political, and social achievements of women, is traditionally celebrated every year on the 8th of March. Women’s day has been embraced by many cultures around the world including Croatia, of course. TCN provides an answer to the question of why exactly the world celebrates this historically really important event.

For us to understand this event, we need to go back to where it all started - the United States of America. More precisely, 28th of February 1909 in New York, the Socialist Party of America organized a rally in honor of workers of a clothing factory who had protested against working conditions the year before. In 1910, International Women’s Day was founded in Copenhagen as a part of the movement for women’s rights and the rise of support for the exercising of women’s voting rights. Multiple countries followed after that - Austria, Germany, Switzerland, which had millions of men and women marching for, besides rights to vote and performing public duties, women’s rights to work, train, and ultimately prevention of discrimination of women at work. During World War I, the march was used for antiwar protests and some of them were held on the 8th of March. The date of commemoration became official in 1975 when the United Nations adopted it as a “mainstream global holiday”. In some areas of the world, International Women’s Day is still reflected as its political origins - being marked by protests and calls for radical change whereas in the West, the event has more sociocultural characteristics and the celebration is centered on “womanhood”.


Women's march - (Source: Libela - portal o rodu, spolu i demokraciji)

When it comes to Croatia, its history of IWD is tightly connected to Yugoslavia, which makes sense since the event was devised by socialist parties in America. Communist countries were at the forefront of their celebrations and initially, a militant international event became “Mother’s Day”, “Women’s Day” and an opportunity to gift the “fairer sex”. History of the 8th of March (8. Mart) celebrations shows us how important it was to celebrate this Day in the spirit of its original politics, against bourgeois “fashion” under the slogan of fighting for equal political and social rights, against fascism and mobilizing women workers, peasants, and intellectuals. The day was part of the Revolution and if the individual violates or undermines the holiday “also undermines and devalues the continuity of the Revolution itself!”. This was quoted in an open letter during the Conference for Social Activity of Croatian Women held somewhere between the 1960s and 1980s. In the 70s, the female questions and initiatives in Yugoslavia were under the heavy influence of central power.

Given that the “law” was quite strict, it is not surprising that gifts to mothers, teachers, and other women were a mandatory way to celebrate IWD. Talking with people who experienced the event during those times, I realized that flowers were THE gift for this occasion, particularly red carnations. These flowers are a symbol of labor movement and would always be gifted to women workers in various companies. Children would gift teachers with red roses or red carnations every year as a thank you for the effort they invested in their work. As previously mentioned, flowers were mandatory for mothers as well. After school and gifting their teachers, children would bring their gifts and flowers home to their mothers - if they couldn’t get flowers, homemade custom-made cards would suffice. Husbands would usually bring red roses to their wives as an appreciation for their love and effort. Multiple cities in Croatia would have their squares filled with lilies and primroses and men and women would join in celebrations of this holiday.

Today, these celebrations (or protests) in Croatia are more focused on social-cultural aspects of women in society. For instance, a feminist collective faKTIV has organized multiple marches called “Night March” whose fields of activity include the fight for women’s labor and social rights, against gender-based violence against women, and advocacy for reproductive and sexual rights. It is held every year in Zagreb on the 8th of March with other multiple collectives doing their own marches (protests) all over Croatia.

The gifting aspect of the “holiday” has died down a bit with the fall of Yugoslavia but the commercial and marketability potentials of IWD started growing in recent years. On one side, there are protests and marches for women’s rights, on the other flower shops, supermarkets, cafes, and other companies are profiting. The West realized its potential and cashed in on this date with various theme-based parties, events and more. Croatia, on the other hand, has not yet recognized Women’s Day as a holiday.

Throughout history, IWD showed us struggles and efforts of women being equal in every aspect of society, artificially constructed holidays to elevate every part of “women being” and in the end, monetary and market power of “celebrating” women. Croatia has not yet recognized Women’s Day as a holiday. However, that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating important women in our lives. Buy a simple red rose, red carnation or if you’re lucky and haven’t experienced snow in your area, pick spring flowers that just started to bloom. From everyone in TCN, happy International Women’s Day or how we Croatians like to say: “Sretan Vam 8. Mart!”.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Virtual Wine Tasting Celebrating Women in Wine from Croatia and US

March 8, 2022 - To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Consulate General of the Republic of Croatia, Chicago, Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., and organized a virtual wine tasting this Sunday of wine from Croatia made by three women winemakers.

Displaying the quality of Croatian winemaking and the role wine makes in Croatian culture, the wines were tasted by three US wine professionals. All nine women showed impressive backgrounds in their respective degrees and experiences, from business and oenology to WSET certification, wine judging, education, and sommeliers.

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Participants in 2022 Woman of Wine, Source: Croatian Premium Wine 

The event was opened by Sanja Laković, Consul General of the Republic of Croatia, Chicago who explained the long winemaking history in Croatia and stated that “even during the pandemic, wine found a way in events like this to connect people. Wine makes a big impact on the Croatian economy, I am happy to say that today we find a growing number of women in the Croatian wine making industry.” 

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Sonja Laković, Consul General of the Republic of Croatia, Chicago, opened the event, making a patriotic statement with a suit with Glagolitic letters.

Source: Croatian Premium Wine 

Mirena Bagur, the co-founder of Croatian Premium Wine, the online store with 70+ Croatian wines shipped to the US, moderated the event and gave an overview of Croatia, its wine regions, and its indigenous varieties.  She encouraged all to pay tribute to the people of Ukraine and raise a glass for peace, which immediately got a response from the audience, including a comment by Carol Ann Gartner “Yes, toast for peace. Hvala for acknowledging Ukraine.” 

Croatian Winemakers and American Tasters

Participating winemakers included Jasna Antunović-Turk, owner/winemaker of Antunovic Vina, Dalj, Slavonia;  Eva Krištof, wine production manager, Dubrovacki Podrumi, Konavle; and Gorana Dominikovic, assistant winemaker of Terra Madre Winery, Komarna Appellation. While the winemakers commented on their decisions to work in the wine industry, their American colleagues focused on tasting notes and conversations about Croatian wine in the US. Below are excerpts from the tastings. 

Anyone interested to hear the full tasting video can send a request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The wines are available for shipping to most US states, and in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th, the discount for these wines is extended till Friday, March 11 at midnight Eastern Time. 

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Croatian and American Women of Wine, Source: Croatian Premium Wine

Ksenija Matić, based in Dubrovnik, is a wine judge, sommelier, and co-founder of, a Dubrovnik-based company focused on organizing concerts and events, and she also teaches a summer semester wine class at the Rochester Institute of Technology Dubrovnik campus. Ksenija introduced the tasting notes for the first wine, Tango with Life, Antunovic Vina, a non-vintage red blend made of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, applauding its freshness and liveliness. 

The second red wine was Zinfandel, which originated in Croatia by the name Crljenak or Tribidrag.  Luciana Braz, based in Seattle, Washington, an engineer by training and wine lover with a WSET diploma entry approved status, who created a wine talk Alexa skill for audio, is an international wine observer who has visited over 100 appellations across the globe.  Luciana tasted  Zinfandel/Crljenak 2016, Dubrovacki Podrumi, stating that the wine is smooth and a great choice to take to a party where everyone will like it.

Explaining the benefits of pouring a glass of wine at a time while preserving a bottle, by demoing how to use the Coravin Pivot, Mirena introduced Lindsay Buck, WSET3, and a manager of Coravin marketplaces. Lindsay explained the company’s offering including the Timeless device and an explanation of their marketplace, including the Coravin Wine Shop, a wine selection to inspire exploration for novices and long-time wine lovers, where she has included three wines from Croatia.  

The last wine and the most robust red wine was  Plavac Mali Premium 2016, Terra Madre Winery, which received a Decanter Silver from the London-based awards. The American Wine Society wine judge, and the director of Education and oenologist from Cornell, Annemarie L. Morse, described the wine as robust for food pairing. 

For more information on Croatian wines in the US, go to: online store with 70+ indigenous Croatian wines shipped to most US states.

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Wines by women winemakers from Vina Antunović, Dubrovački Podrumi, and Terra Madre Winery. Source: Croatian Premium Wine 

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Monday, 8 March 2021

SDP Marks International Women's Day with Multimedia Project "From 5 to 95"

ZAGREB, 8 March, 2021 - The Social Democratic Party (SDP) marked International Women's Day on Monday with a multimedia art project featuring women's accounts of what it means to be a woman in Croatia today.

The multimedia web project, called "From 5 to 95", shows women and girls talking about what it means to be a woman in Croatia today and how their lives differ from those of their mothers, grandmothers and grand-grandmothers. 

The project was presented at SDP headquarters where the authors Arijana Lekić-Fridrih and Andrea Kaštelan were hosted by SDP leader Peđa Grbin.

Lekić-Fridrih said that the project had been launched in 2016 and that 400 accounts of women from across Croatia had been filmed. "We wanted to knock down the walls and initiate dialogue so that there would no longer be girls and women feeling alone in their own situations," she said, adding that the idea for the project came from "the fact that every woman in Croatia is in some sort of conflict with society."

The online project shows women describing one year of their life, from 5 to 95. It provides documentary accounts of the lives of Croatian women in the 21st century in which women talk about their personal experience, and often about violence and discrimination they have encountered.

Monday, 8 March 2021

President Visits Faculties in Sisak, Petrinja on International Women's Day

ZAGREB, 8 March, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Monday visited the Sisak Faculty of Metallurgy, saying metallurgy was stereotypically considered a male profession, and the Petrinja Faculty of Teacher Education, saying teaching was considered a female profession.

One of the topics with faculty officials and students was the role of women in science and higher education.

"The reason I am here today, on International Women's Day, is also the fact that at (the Sisak) faculty, in management and leadership, are solely women, which is very unusual given that the nature of their profession is stereotypically considered male," Milanović told the press, adding that it was also unusual that half the students were women.

Speaking of the 60 years of the Sisak Faculty of Metallurgy, which is part of the University of Zagreb, the president said it was fighting and developing despite all the changes Croatia had gone through.

"In Sisak, the cradle of Croatian metallurgy, which has had its ups and downs, fighting for survival and progress, that knowledge is nurtured," he said, adding that the doctoral studies at the faculty were "a big success considering how demanding, intensive and complicated they are."

Milanović said he was sure the Science and Education Ministry and the faculty itself would advance the faculty with European funding.

After visiting the Petrinja Faculty of Teacher Education, which is also part of the University of Zagreb, the president said he was confident that it would "carry this city" after the devastating earthquake last December.

Congratulating women on their day, Milanović said "there are women and women," explaining that some were fighters who would not sell themselves or be broken, who would "kick in that place" any thug or abuser, while others put on a show.

Asked if he was again referring to Hollywood actresses, he said, "Never mind those actresses now."

Asked if women deserved protection, he said the weak deserved it. "Female teachers deserve protection, the girls who are teaching assistants and must make headway through a non-transparent system and who depend on older colleagues, but are not interesting enough for 30 cameras to gather because of them."

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