News 07 May 13

Macedonian Bishop Blames Women for Failed Marriages

Human Rights activists have condemned a leading Macedonian Orthodox bishop for blaming the increased divorce rate on women trying to be equal to men.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje
Bishop Petar of MPC

Macedonia's Helsinki Committee for Human Rights and a coalition of NGOs standing for rights of marginalized communities said Bishop Petar’s remarks undermine the constitutional equality of women and their right of choice.

Commenting on statistics showing that the trend towards an increase in divorces continued in 2012, the Bishop said that “Many marriages unfortunately fall apart because of vanity, because [both partners] want to be in charge, forgetting that the man is the head of the household and the woman is subordinate to the husband.

“This is not in the sense that she is deprived of her rights," he added. "She enjoys even greater rights than the husband, because she is the one who raises the children and she is the soul of the family.”

Commenting also on abortion, the Bishop of the Prespa - Bitola diocese reiterated the Church’s opposition to it, insisting that the survival of the nation and of the Church was in women’s hands.

“Women will either save or destroy our Macedonian nation and our Church, because what is conceived in their wombs should be born, if we wish to persist,” he said.

The remarks from a senior cleric in the largest religious community in Macedonia have angered human rights activists.

“For a long time, a woman’s role in Macedonia has been portrayed solely as a mother and a wife, which represents breach of equality and direct discrimination against women based on sex and gender,”  the NGOs say in their united response.

They added that “these kinds of calls towards women to return to the traditional system of values and to her social exclusion are nothing else but a degradation of women’s value and of their contribution to society”.

The NGOs said the Bishop had violated the constitutional principles of equality, privacy and a free choice about family life. They added that the statement has also breached the principle of secularity which stipulates a clear separation of Church and state.

They have called the State Anti-Discrimination Commission to take action.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

serbian-activists-accuse-officials-of-making-threats-01-22-2017
23 Jan 17

Serbian Activists Accuse Official of Making Threats

Member of Let’s not Drown Belgrade movement says new employed staffer in government’s Kosovo office was one of many people to have threatened them on social networks.

23 Jan 17

The Balkans Today: 23rd - 27th January 2017

23 Jan 17

Redrawing Balkan Borders Would Shock Europe

20 Jan 17

Bosnian Serb Invites to Trump Gala Disputed

Premium Selection

investment-in-macedonia-falls-short-of-govt-hype-01-23-2017
23 Jan 17

Investment in Macedonia Falls Short of Govt Hype

BIRN database shows foreign firms invested only a small fraction of money in Macedonian that officials said was in the pipeline.

capturing-the-image-of-ethnic-cleansing-in-bosnia-01-19-2017
23 Jan 17

Capturing the Image of Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia

Photojournalist Ron Haviv’s shocking image of a Serbian paramilitary kicking a woman’s corpse during the Bosnian war is one of the subjects of a forthcoming documentary about his most significant pictures.

20 Jan 17

Birth of Trump Era Divides Balkan Countries

18 Jan 17

Serbia Urged to Build on Results of 2016

17 Jan 17

Dodik’s Secession Talk Keeps Bosnia on Edge

Latest News from the Balkans

20 Jan 17

Bosnian Serb Invites to Trump Gala Disputed

20 Jan 17

Croatian School Removes Anne Frank Exhibition