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In Hungary, Katalin Novak, very conservative family minister of Viktor Orban

BUDAPEST LETTER

In Hungary, the power of Viktor Orban never ceases to extol what he calls the “Traditional family” respecting “Christian values”. If the limits of this slogan could be revealed by the now famous escapades of the former MEP Jozsef Szajer, surprised by the Brussels police in full gay party, then forced to resign and leave Fidesz, the ultranationalist formation of Mr. Orban, the government has not given up promoting this message internally and in Europe. The remarks made on December 14 by the Minister for the Family, Katalin Novak, 43, confirmed this.

In a video posted to Facebook titled, “How can a woman be successful? “, the minister explains learnedly, installed behind virtual stoves, that “Women do not always have to compete with men”, or “Constantly compare yourself with men by having a position and a salary similar to them”.

In a country where the birth rate is a national obsession, they call on them as a priority to give birth by “Let’s be happy to be able to give life” and of “Dare to say yes to the child”. Perfectly French-speaking, this jurist with an international career, mother of three children, is one of the pillars of the Orban government where she is one of the only two women to weigh, along with the Minister of Justice, Judit Varga.

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Amendment of the Constitution

His remarks caused a scandal in a country where women still earn about 16% less than men. Reka Safrany, president of the Hungarian Association for the Defense of Women, denounced a video which amounts to saying “That a woman can flourish if she does not try to compete with men, does not want positions and as much money as representatives of the opposite sex, but makes the courageous decision to to marry and give birth ”.

“Denying equality and promoting discriminatory stereotypes is part of the government’s declared war on what it calls gender ideology, a term used to encourage disinformation and promote homophobic and misogynistic agendas ”, recalled Lydia Gall, specialist on Hungary within the NGO Human Rights Watch.

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Faced with the controversy, the minister explained that she was “Misunderstood”, while the daily at the orders of the government, Magyar Nemzet, bluntly accused “The left-wing press for having distorted its words”. Mme Novak explained in particular that it was a question of pleading for a ” collaboration ” with men, but not to promote discrimination. “It is not in any case not to be entitled to the same salary for the same benefit, it is indisputable that one should not be discriminated against simply because one is a woman”, assured this politician known for her ambition which allowed her gradually to climb the ranks in the overwhelmingly male entourage of Mr. Orban.

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