RESPONSE TO THE OFFENSIVE AND GENDER DISCRIMINATING STATEMENT OF MP ANDRIJA POPOVIĆ ON ACCOUNT OF MP SUADA ZORONJIĆ
On the occasion of insulting and gender-discriminatory statement by MP Andrija Popović against MP Suada Zoronjić, „Women’s Rights Center“ demanded an urgent apology from MP Popović as well as appropriate disciplinary measures.
Namely, qualifying MP Zoronjić as “lady from the street” for, MP Popović consciously or unconsciously chose the words that insulted MP Zoronjić on a personal and gender-based level .
Insults of this type must not be tolerated anywhere in Montenegrin society, especially not in the public sphere and in the highest legislative house of the state. As an MP who is in charge of representing all citizens of Montenegro, MP Popović has a special duty to treat all citizens with respect and not to insult them.
Without going into the content of the political debate in which MP Popović made statements against MP Zoronjić, WRC considers the dictionary used by MP Popović for this purpose to be absolutely inappropriate, insulting and discriminatory. Political debates on any issue must be conducted with vocabulary that respects personalities and does not insult on personal, gender, or any other basis.
Therefore, WRC demands MP Popović’s urgent public apology for the insult and discriminatory vocabulary with which he qualified MP Zoronjić, as well as that the Assembly and MP Popović’s political party take appropriate disciplinary measures to sanction the behaviour of MP Popović so that any future similar conduct by any MP is, hopefully, eradicated.
WRC reminds that the problem of gender-based discrimination is extremely present in Montenegro, and that despite the existing legal measures to achieve gender equality, the Parliament of Montenegro has not yet achieved gender-balanced representation of MPs in the plenum. Having in mind the above, we believe that the statements made in the Assembly must not express gender discrimination, but that the role of the Assembly is to eradicate this type of discrimination and to contribute to greater participation of women in parliamentary and general political and public life. Statements such as the one sent by MP Popović cause exceptional damage to the stated goal, and WRC requests that such statements should not be repeated.