Women’s conference “Empowering Women”– 15/16 November 2003 held in London.
can find here the contribution of the delegate to the Conference for Prometheus
Society of Slovakia, Ms.Viera
of citizen’s human rights is under way in the unified Europe. Vatican tries to
thwart such advance using all possible means and at the same time it wants to
rebuild at least partially its former might and unchallenged rights to interfere
in state policy of EU member states.
became after 1989 a pawn on this chessboard and turned to be actually the
extended hand of Vatican. Slovakia is namely to play
the role of a fifth column in EU after its definite joining the EU. The
former prime minister of Slovakia Mr. V. Mečiar at the occasion of his
visit to Vatican proclaimed: "Slovakia could become a model of church State
relation with a special respect for Christian values". The pope responded
with a great pleasure telling: "This could change the future of the whole
humankind" Since then this mute conspiracy of Vatican and Slovakia against
democratic pluralist open society in the future Europe continues.
after the November 1989 overturn in the former Czechoslovakia and later in
Slovakia basic constitutional laws and other legislative measures were passed.
It should have secured transforming the political regime in a democratic civil
society These rights apply equally to nondenominational subjects as to all the
others, equally to women rights as to all others.
The State authorities gradually have sanctioned in their policy the
dominance of Catholicism. It became actually the state ideology, supported
financially, institutionally and with propaganda. It was in contrast with one of
the basic requirement of the November “velvet revolution” to build a civil
society with separation of state and church.
to the investigation done by the Sociologic Institute of Slovak Academy of
Science in 1998 as many as 16 % of citizens were steadfast atheists, 19,3 % were
indifferent in questions of religion. The proportion of these in the total
population was thus 35,3 %
Despite the great part of nondenominational population, Slovak authorities have ignored completely their existence. They denied them any legal acknowledgment accompanied with financial subsidies for developing their specific spiritual needs.
the other hand after 1989all churches and civil associations working in the
field of religious propaganda are generously subsidised from taxes of all
taxpayers, including taxes collected from nondenominational citizens.
continuous animosity of Catholic Church against women is necessarily linked with
this transformation of Slovakia in a “taliban-like “ fundamentalist Catholic
state. Some leading fanatic politicians openly declare the determination to
fight European “leftist liberalism” The interior minister V. Palko
claimed on April 29, 2003 at the republican congress of the Christian democratic
Party: “In the western civilisation a cultural war is under way, at which
the leftist liberals want to wipe out the Christian civilisation. They want to
enforce to us a perverse view on the pillars of society, which are the family
and the marriage. They doubt about right for preserving human life at its
beginning equally as at its end. They distort the history”
rude attack against the European civilisation can originate only from a person
to whom no other rule except the medieval Christian dogma is valid
minister Vladimír Palko attacked the European parliament in his article
published in the periodical Domino Forum No 19/2002. He has strongly denounced
the European Parliament because it passed the
A5-0365/2001 against FUNDAMENTALISM. His
revulsion was focussed especially on the parliament’s acknowledging the
reproductive rights of women to choose freely the timing and numbers of their
children. In addition he attacked above all the passages in which the European
parliament proclaimed that according to point 2.9.the parliament
calls for the application of human
rights, which cannot be restricted or cancelled under the pretext of religious
interpretations, cultural traditions or incompatible legislation, and for
a ban within the European Union on the application of rules or traditions which
are opposed to or are incompatible with human rights.
rules have been quite unacceptable for the purportedly devout Catholic Slovakia
as declared by Vladimír Palko.
raw between governmental coalition partners arose when the parliament rejected
the abortion law proposed by Christian democrats and instead of it passed the
other , more liberal law proposed by Alliance of the New Citizens (ANO)
and its chairman P. Rusko.
Christian democratic party appealed immediately to the Constitutional court, The
Church started to intimidate the president of the republic and parliamentarians
by menacing them with EXCOMMUNICATION.
chairman of the Bishops Conference Bishop František Tondra, proclaimed that
passing of that amendment has been a treachery committed on the ELECTORATE (
comment: which electorate ? those 7 % who want to DICTATE along with the Bishops
Conference the WHOLE NATION?) He continues to affirm: “In my opinion they HAVE
BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED”, but this excommunication can be reversed by PENITENCE
( See: Pravda July 5, 2003)
It is one of the proves that the Catholic church aspires after the unchallenged right to dictate the parliamentarians in Slovakia, which is one of signs of every fundamentalist religious regime. The president Rudolf Schuster himself was to that extent intimidated that he finally did not sign the new law ( despite his alleged consent with its content ! )
revenge to the chairman Rusko did not wait long: It
started when the New Citizens' Alliance (ANO) head Pavol Rusko found out, that
his telephone was bugged, and demanded the interior minister V. Palko to
investigate into the affaire. As expected the investigation brought NO RESULT,
the culprit remained unknown. (Remember the Watergate affair in USA, when THE
PRESIDENT had to step down- in Slovakia such things cannot happen)
Shortly thereafter against New Citizens' Alliance (ANO) head Pavol Rusko a motion was submitted requesting parliament to lift the ANO leader's immunity from prosecution -for some vaguely formulated criminal activities. (It reminds the deep Stalinist era, when police indicted innocent people by invented accusations, PROOVED their guiltiness, and they were finally sentenced) RUSKO DENIED ALL THE ALLEGATIONS, CALLING THEM "COLOSSAL LIES".
But the aim was fulfilled: he was indicted as a potential CRIMINAL and now the Christian democrats can BLACKMAIL him. The attorney general didn’t find reason for indictment against Rusko after studying the materials prepared by the interior ministry investigators.
Therefore it is more probable that initiating legal prosecution against Rusko was a pretext and revenge for his support of the abortion law NOT COMPLYING with Christian dogma.
described episodes are no more just an example of the hostile policy of the
current Slovak political spectrum against the fundamental rights of women.
other aspects remain unnoticed - such as the demands to deprive women of their
equal status in the society by claiming that the duty of each woman is just to
maintain the household for the
family. Of course these tendencies have many other facet like women having
opportunities to gain important jobs much harder than men, and finally also
impact on the levels of their salary.
According to the last investigation done by the statistical bureau in this year, in 1996 women’s salary reached 74,9% of men’s salary, in 2001 it reached 74,1% and in 2002 it reached 71,7% only. It means, that women’s situation is going to be not better, but worse. In year 2002 the difference between women’s and men’s salary in bank business was 12,500.- Sk, in communication professions the difference made 7,300.- Sk and in retail business it was 4,400.-Sk.
In politics it isn’t better. Participating in the legislative and
executive branch of the state is one of the most important parts of citizenship.
Compared to other European countries, women in Slovakia were granted the right
to vote relatively early, immediately after the formation of the Czechoslovak
Republic in October 1918. Despite this the right of women to be elected and
participate in government policy is still not satisfactorily secured or
Before 1989 there were quota requiring a 30% proportion of women on
election candidates lists. Due to
this measure, there were in parliament more than 20% women. After 1990 there
were in parliament 12% women. In year 2002 after the elections increased the
women’s representation in the parliament to 19.3%.
Participation in the executive branch decreased after the 2002
parliamentary elections. The new cabinet doesn’t have a single female
minister. By comparison, in most EU member states the ratio of women in the
cabinet exceed one third, and in many it is approaching parity.
facts demonstrate a significant disproportion in the participation of women and
men in the legislative and executive branches. This gender gap was not
eliminated even after the 2002 parliamentary elections, despite pressure from
non-governmental organizations and the intense public debate on equal
opportunities in politics. The situation is the same or even worse at the
regional level of the state administration and in regional and municipality
that proves that Christianity instilled in practical policy is an utmost danger
for fundamental women human rights. Slovakia is just one of many examples.
European NGO-s which want to implement a real democracy should therefore unite
and categorically oppose all similar unsound political efforts. It applies much
more to the candidate states aspiring for accession to EU. These states
should bring in line their legislature and state policy with general rules
safeguarding equal rights to all citizens, regardless of their gender, life
stance, or any other distinguishing characteristics, before they are admitted in
the EU. All that cannot be achieved from within the fundamentalist states,
because they refuse to cope with such problems. A resolute international pressure must be extended to this end
Society of Slovakia
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