By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Hungary has, for the first time, observed International Women’s Day under a female president, a devoted Christian who urged women to have faith and children to overcome the country’s “demographic winter.”
Katalin Novák, a married mother of three, said she wants to “give this over to the younger generations in a positive manner, not going against anything. But just underlining the beauty and the importance of childbearing and traditional family.”
The 45-year-old conservative Novák, who was elected by Parliament last year, met Pope Francis ahead of his visit to Hungary in April to talk about the role of faith in society. , “It’s not easy” to decide now to share the Christian faith with others, she noticed. However, “For me, it is also a personal challenge because I am a Protestant Christian believer. And for me, my faith is of utmost importance,” she added.
President Novák said she is pleased her government supports persecuted Christians worldwide. She stressed that she is accountable to God and seeks to look to Him: “I know that my help, my support, and my blessings will come from Him.”
However, another leading politician, 35-year-old Anna Donáth, has mixed feelings about the rightwing support for more traditional. Donáth, who recently got her first child, was involved in founding the Momentum Movement party and is now a European legislator.
It is a relatively new party founded by young people, many of whom are children of former dissidents who suffered under communism.
As a daughter of an evangelical pastor, the liberal Donáth said she respects traditional women’s roles. “However, there is still a macho culture in Hungary. I remember that in a meeting, I was told: “she is not only pretty but smart too. They thought it was a compliment. But I was the only woman in the room. They would never have done that to a young man.”
PRIME MINISTER’S CABINET
She said she hopes women will be treated differently in a country where only one woman is in Prime Minister Viktor Orbán ‘s 15-member cabinet.
Women comprise about 13 percent of lawmakers in Hungary, the lowest ratio among the 38 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members after Japan.
And a controversial report by the State Audit Office even concluded that too many female college graduates threaten the economy and demographics, making it more difficult for them to have children. The report even had the controversial title “Signs of Pink Education in Hungary?!.”
Critics have already said that the emergence of the report underscores how Hungary is increasingly out of step with its fellow European Union members.
Media called it the latest product of the macho political culture fostered by Prime Minister Orban, who refers to demanding tasks as “work for men.”
However, while they are of different parties, President Novák and legislator Donáth hope they will encourage women to help rebuild their country, which is still recovering from a legacy of communism.
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