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Human Rights & Rule of Law

Female Politicians Encouraged to Take Over Orban’s Illiberal Regime

The number of women in politics is still low in East-European countries. Women face more challenges in politics than men. The Indítsuk Be Magyarországot Foundation (connected to Momentum Movement) wants to fight this by its new project called Hungarian Women’s Academy , which wants to motivate women to engage in politics.

Women’s participation in public life tends to be pyramid-shaped: the more we move toward smaller settlements, the more female politicians we meet.  This implies that women have the same political ambitions as men, but somehow only a few female leaders make it to the top. Women in politics face resistance, discrimination, social stereotypes and double standards. They face myriad challenges in politics.  Female politicians are judged by how they look and how they are dressed, more than their ideas, but when they do express their views and opinions, they are held to a much higher standard than men do.

The proportion of women in parliament in all post-sovjet countries are around 10-20%. In Hungary it is 12.2%, in Slovakia it is 20.7% and in Romania it is 19.8%. While the trend in most countries around the world is to see an increase in the proportion of women in parliaments, Hungary has fallen from 66th to 149th in 20 years, according to IPU figures.

Hungary is considered to be a conservative country when it comes to gender roles. Moreover, the public rhetoric in the country made family and child-rearing at the top of the list of women’s tasks, politics is a field for strong males according to the governing party. Despite a positive shift in the Hungarian society regarding the political role of women in recent years (Momentum had two female candidates on their European Parliamentary list,  also Democratic Coalition had a female lead candidate on the EP elections), the share of women in politics has not changed radically since the regime change. Currently there are no quotas or anything else that would empower females to take a step forward and become the leaders they could be.  That is one of the reasons why female empowerment has become a priority for Indítsuk Be Magyarországot Foundation. As a result the Foundation has decided to launch its own Women’s Academy which is the very first one in the region that aims to empower its participants to lead in making a change in Hungarian politics.

By educating, supporting and empowering females the Hungarian society gets closer to equality and motivates women leaders to start their grassroot movements as the true engines of changes. Furthermore by promising a new, fresh political culture, female politicians and role models could be one of the biggest threats to Orban’s illiberal and unequal regime.

Anikó Paróczai is the Director of the International Office of the liberal party Momentum and a member of the local council in the 19th district Budapest. Before going into politics, Anikó was a civil rights activist, fighting for equal education for all and the rights of the youth. She participated in the German Federal Elections as an International Election Observer Coordinator, and led the European Citizens Initiative “More Education!” in Hungary in 2017.

Hungarian Women’s Academy is a project launched by the Indítsuk Be Magyarországot Foundation and supported by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. This project aims to educate and empower women to get engaged in politics. Among its goals belong the rise in the number of women elected in Hungary or connecting active female participants in politics.

Indítsuk Be Magyarországot Foundation is the party foundation of Momentum Movement, it was founded at the end of 2018. Ever since the foundation is working on issues that are crucial in the Hungarian society, like civic participation, media freedom, anti corruption and equality.

Categories
EU Affairs Human Rights & Rule of Law

Veto on EU Financial Package: EU Core Values Deserve Clear Message

Last Monday, Hungary and Poland blocked the EU’s historic financial package of 1.82 trillion euros. The right-wing nationalist governments of the two countries want to prevent the rule of law compliance conditionality in the distribution of EU funds. Meanwhile, the recently declared “State of Danger” in Hungary is being used by the government to amend the constitution again under the pretext of the Corona pandemic and to govern by decree. The new draft laws restrict the rights of LGBTI persons, undermine the transparency of expenditure of state funds and reduce the influence of opposition parties in the next parliamentary elections.

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Human Rights & Rule of Law

Thousands March for Press Freedom in Hungary

Concerns about the plurality of independent media in Hungary are growing after a government-affiliated entrepreneur bought into the business of the country’s largest still independent news portal. For weeks, the portal’s employees have been warning that their independence is under threat. Following the dismissal of the editor-in-chief, more than 80 employees submitted their resignations. Thousands of Hungarians took to the streets in Budapest to protest against the government’s influence on the media.

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Human Rights & Rule of Law

Is the State of Emergency in Hungary Really Over?

Last week, the Hungarian parliament voted to end the state of emergency, which gave the government the power to decide by decree on issues related to the Covid 19 pandemic. The emergency legislation adopted in March was heavily criticised because it did not have a clear end date. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is now demanding an apology from all those who criticised him and his government for the so-called “Enabling Act” and accused him of using the Corona pandemic to undermine democracy. At the same time, the parliament, in which Orbán has a two-thirds majority, approved a new draft law that will make it easier for the government to continue to govern by decree.

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Human Rights & Rule of Law

Quo Vadis Hungary?

What has happened in Hungary since the adoption of the controversial emergency law?

 

 

The “Coronavirus Law” adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on 30th March did not only enable Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to govern by decree for an unlimited period of time, but also suspended elections and referendums. With the passing of the emergency law, the parliament controlled by Orbán’s right-wing conservative Fidesz party had disempowered itself. The law also provides for prison sentences of several years for the dissemination of false news as well as for news that could cause panic. This emergency law has somewhat distracted the public from the fact that the dismantling of fundamental freedoms is not only being pursued under the banner of the fight against corona, but is continuing on all fronts.

What has Hungary as a whole been doing since the so-called “Enabling Act” was adopted by Parliament? Here is a chronicle of events:

Categories
Human Rights & Rule of Law

Repressive Draft Laws in Times of Corona

Human rights violations on the parliamentary agenda in Hungary and Poland

 

The increasingly autocratic tendencies observed in Poland and Hungary during the Corona crisis have alarmed the European Union. With street protests currently banned, human rights activists fear that the pandemic will be used by national conservative governments in both countries to consolidate their power and undermine democracy and human rights. The challenge of the COVID 19 crisis must not be used as a distraction from legislative measures aimed at restricting human rights or stigmatizing certain groups of people.