On 12 November, we addressed with an open letter the Prime Minister – designate Zdravko Krivokapić due to the problematic attitudes of Professor Vesna Bratić, which disqualified her for the proposed position of Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports. We stand by our request and expect the prime minister-designate to stop ignoring this and similar grounded criticism of the public if he wants to demonstrate a different democratic practice from his predecessors.
Also, due to the frequent misunderstanding and abuse of this address, by the part of the Montenegrin public, we consider as important to emphasize that we strongly condemn the attacks on the candidate Bratic on social media that are linked to her private life. The mockery and shame to which she is exposed do not, nor can have, any justification and represents a brutal misogynistic attack on Bratić as a person with only the intention to hurt, insult and humiliate.
These and similar attacks indicate an extremely high degree of misogyny to which women in the public sphere are often exposed. Namely, by entering the public sphere, women in Montenegro can expect this type of violence, i.e. to be exposed to ruthless, sexist, primitive attacks that target her private life. Unfortunately, such attacks, to which Bratic herself is exposed, cruelly deny her views on the position of women in Montenegrin society and remind that the only way to eradicate this unacceptable practice is education on human rights and the foundations of feminist theory, as well as the consistent implementation of binding gender equality policies and anti-discrimination laws.
We remain firm in the fact that the attitudes expressed by Bratic, which were the subject of our previous reaction, not only do not contribute to the reduction of misogyny in Montenegro but strengthen it. To be clear – we consider education on gender equality, women’s studies and sex education in schools a necessary condition for freeing society from misogyny. If this does not happen, the practice of persecuting every woman who wants to engage in public by targeting, abusing and embarrassing her private life and personal preferences will continue, and we have been consistently fighting against that for decades.
ANIMA – Center for Women’s and Peace Education Kotor
The letter supported by:
Montenegrin Women’s Lobby Podgorica
Center for Women’s Rights Podgorica
Centre for Civic Education (CCE)
Voter League Nikšić
LGBT Women’s Association Stana