eurel     Données sociologiques et juridiques sur la religion en Europe et au-delà
Vous êtes ici : Accueil » Croatie » Questions et débats actuels » 2019 » L’"idéologie du genre" continue d’alimenter les débats idéologiques dans la (...)

L’"idéologie du genre" continue d’alimenter les débats idéologiques dans la société croate

  • June 2019

Despite public debates and actions of several far-rightist political parties and religiously (Catholic) inspired non-governmental organizations and civic initiatives to prevent the ratification of the “Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence” (known also as the “Istanbul Convention”), the Croatian Government remained firm in its intention to ratify this document. It sees it as a legally binding international legal instrument in combatting violence against women and domestic violence.

The Croatian Parliament ratified the “Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence” in April 2018, attaching to it the interpretive statement, and it came into force on October 1, 2018. Although the Parliament ratified it with a majority of votes, the ratification intensified both political and public debates, even causing divisions in the ruling right-wing party as fifteen out of fifty-five of its MPs voted against. The most problematic aspect of the Istanbul Convention is that it introduces the concept of “gender”, since violence against women is interpreted as gender-based violence. The opposers argue that the concept of “gender” negates biological differences between men and women, and undermines the traditional family as well as traditional family values. Eventually, as argued by the opposers, the word “gender” is a way of importing alien Western, liberal “gender ideology”, which will endanger the Croatian people and culture, inextricably linked with Catholicism.

The ratification provoked subsequent actions by various religiously inspired NGOs, and mainly far-right political actors. The newly established civic initiative called “The Truth on Istanbul” (in Croatian Istina o Istanbulskoj) initiated a collection of citizens’ signatures to force the Government to convey a national referendum on revoking Croatia’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention. During two weeks in May 2018, they collected 377,635 signatures, which was a bit more than the needed 10% of supporting voters’ signatures. However, the Government asked the ministry of Administration to verify the collected signatures. This eventually established the non-authenticity of a number of signatures, and the final number of 345,942 signatures was below the needed 347,470 signatures. Dissatisfied with such an outcome, and with the fact that the ministry of Administration did not allow them to supervise the verification of the signatures (though they obtained the right to see non-valid signatures after the verification process had been completed), the citizen initiative “The Truth on Istanbul” filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court against the Government. In its ruling, publicized in January 2019, the Constitutional Court, while pointing to some inconsistencies in the way the referendum is regulated in Croatia, did not find that the Government violated Constitution and endangered democratic principles and the rights of citizens.

The Constitutional Court decision gave the Government a possibility to continue with the implementation of the Istanbul Convention. However, debates about “gender” and “gender ideology” continue and, together with debates on abortion, sex education in public schools, as well as debates on the Croatian past (mainly about the role of the Croatian collaborationist state in the Second World War), cause deep ideological divisions and constitute main political cleavages in the society. The Catholic Church is among the important actors in the public arena, and it fully supports civic initiatives on these issues, in particular by condemning the concept of gender and the “gender ideology”. The Church called all MPs, particularly those who openly declare their Catholic belonging, to vote against the ratification of the Convention. Though it is expected that the Church propagates its teaching and its moral values, it can be argued that, as it happens in many other countries, Croatia witnesses a tough “cultural war” in which religious actors have become relevant and powerful players.

D 19 juin 2019    ASiniša Zrinščak

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

Suivez nous :
© 2002-2019 eurel - Contact