The unscrupulous insults recently targeted at Dr. Darija Kisić Tepavčević, the deputy Director of the Institute for Public Health Dr. Milan Jovanovic Batut, via social networks, calling her the most defamatory names and commenting on her appearance and origin in the most primitive way, once again confirmed how firmly and deeply rooted misogyny is in our society, Mr. Zoran Pašalić, the Protector of Citizens says.
Along with other doctors, Dr. Kisić Tepavčević informs the public daily about the situation regarding the corona virus epidemic (COVID - 19) in Serbia and she became the victim of the most shameless attacks, just because she is a woman. That is clear from the content of the messages and comments directed at her, which exclusively assess, condemn and attack her physical appearance. As a rule, women are exposed to this sort of comments, especially those in important and responsible positions, which unequivocally speaks of the community’s intolerant and discriminatory attitude towards women.
Mr. Pašalić highlighted that the degree of hatred to which women are exposed in public is worrying. The fact that her professional references cannot be a woman’s only measure and criterion for performing important functions, and consequently her public appearances, is also worrying.
The Institution of the Protector of Citizens has warned before that the public space in Serbia is impermissibly tolerant of sexist statements and attitudes. Mr. Pašalić said that he wanted to take that occasion to draw attention to the necessity of eradicating such speech and he called on the public life participants primarily, then the citizens and social network users to refrain from statements and comments which insult, humiliate and attack; urging at the same time the authorities to fiercely oppose such a practice.