GENEVA, May 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The United Nations Working Group On Discrimination Against Women wasted no time attacking Hungary for its socially conservative views of women’s roles in society, issuing a negative grade hours after ending its 10-day tour of the country of 10 million people.
Even though one in three pregnancies in Hungary ends in abortion, the organization complains: “Legal abortion in Hungary is … obstructed by unnecessary waiting periods, hostile counselling or conscientious objection.”
The organization instructed the Government of Hungary “not to disguise gender discrimination under an ideology of conservative family values.”
Hungary, noted the group’s boss, Frances Raday, “ranks 44 on the UN Human Development Index, out of 188 countries, but it lags behind on the Gender Gap Index, ranking 99 out of 145 countries.” Moreover, “Women are significantly disempowered in Hungary’s political life with an extremely low representation in Parliament, at 10% of MPs, and a total absence from the Cabinet.”
These numbers all appear in the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Gender Gap Report.
Raday claims that a high proportion of Hungarian women perform “unpaid care work” at home and are kept there by “the pervasive and flagrant stereotyping of women, including by some political leaders, as unsuited to political power and the insistence on a woman’s role as primarily wife and mother.”
The report complains further that not only is the percentage of women in government lower in Hungary than in the rest of Europe, the same underrepresentation is present in upper management and university faculties. Though women comprise 70 percent of farm workers, they fill only one in four farm manager positions.
Raday’s views reflect the European Parliament’s 2013 report on Policy on Gender Equality in Hungary. Its conclusion begins, “Over the past few years, Hungary has taken some important steps backwards with respect to the promotion of gender equality.” Independent organizations supporting women’s rights have been defunded, it reports, and supportive messaging has been removed from the school curriculum. News media portray women as homemakers, which both reports view as a bad thing, even though accurate.
The report singles out Hungary’s constitutional guarantee for the right to life from the moment of conception, blaming it for the many obstacles to abortion alleged by “interlocutors” whom the Working Group met in their 10-day tour. These include a mandatory three-day waiting period faced by women after they apply for an abortion, during which time they are “subjected” to “hostile” counselling—presumably counselling on alternatives to abortion.
The report further complains that medical personnel are free to refuse to do abortions for reasons of conscience. The Working Group wants this right removed.
Despite these restrictions, however, the report admits that “ one out of 3 pregnancies as compared with 1 out of 5 in the EU”. The report makes no effort to reconcile this contradiction, but instead uses the high abortion rate to argue that Hungary should be providing easier access to contraception, including “emergency contraception,” which is a form of abortion.
The report also charges that government politicians have condemned non-government agencies championing both feminist and “LGBTI” values of being enemies of the state, encouraging harassment by hostile social forces.