Government appoints misogynistic state secretary

The appointment of the new state secretary in charge of information in the Ministry of Culture and Information has caused a controversy.

Source: B92
Aleksandar Gajic (Screen capture)
Aleksandar Gajic (Screen capture)

The reason are the misogynistic statements that Aleksandar Gajovic made on TV in the past.

After it was announced that the editor of the magazine Ilustrovana Polika was given the job, a video of his 2016 appearance on TV Pink surfaced, showing him commenting on the at time time upcoming presidential election in Serbia by saying that he "does not see" that the head of state should be a woman.

"It seems to me that there have rarely been women who have been successful in politics. It seems rare - not because they are weaker, on the contrary - I think that women are much more rational and have a more rational outlook on everyday life. But it simply seems to me the man is the one who should head the house," Gajovic said.

Gajovic also assessed that "it would not be good" if Hillary Clinton won the US election, that was also upcoming at the time.

Gajovic's new government role has prompted former head of the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) and former editor-in-chief of Politika Ljiljana Smajlovic to resign from the ministry's working group, set up to draft the Strategy for the Development of the Public Information System in the Republic of Serbia.

"It was an honor for me to be elected, but after the government of Serbia appointed a man who is publicly propagating ignorant chauvinist prejudice against women as the state secretary, I am forced to resign from this working group," said Smajlovic.

She said shares the opinion of her colleagues of both genders who are contacting the UNS to protest the fact that Ana Brnabic's government was with such moves belittling not only women journalists, but also with the whole profession.

"The position of media and journalists in Serbia is already degraded and it is a very bad idea to put in important positions in the Ministry of Culture and Information people who state on public television that a woman should not become president and that 'the man must head the house' because women have 'failed to prove themselves' in important state business. It's a mockery of the working group's task, which I personally approached with the feeling of highest social responsibility, and I ask that you understand my decision as my personal protest," said the former UNS president.

The Serbian government is currently headed by Ana Brnabic, the first woman to hold that position, while one of her deputies is Zorana Mihajlovic, who also heads the gender equality body.

Politics

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