On 25 November 2019, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová received representatives of women's non-governmental organizations that have long been devoted to the issue of violence against women. Our colleague Vanda Durbáková was also invited. Adriana Mesochoritisová from Možnosť Voľby, Janka Debrecéniová from Občan, demokracia a zodpovednosť, Dusan Karlovská from Fenestra, Zuzana Piestanska from Slovak-Czech Women's Fund, Ingrid Kosová from Quo Vadis, Zuzana Maďarová from Aspekt and Ivan Rácz from the Institute of romological studies of Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra attended the meeting as well.
Together with Ms President, we spoke about various forms of violence against women, from violence in intimate relationships, restrictions on women's reproductive rights, or violence related to childbirth. We also touched on the subjects of women's poverty and the specific status of Roma women, especially from marginalized Roma communities. Finally, we also spoke about the situation of women and feminist NGOs.
Our colleague Vanda spoke about a specific form of institutional violence against women, such as forced sterilisations, which in the past were performed mainly on Roma women in Slovakia. In a dialogue with the President, she stressed the obligation of the responsible state institutions to properly investigate these cases and ensure justice for all women affected. She therefore drew attention to the need to set up an independent body to thoroughly investigate this practice and to provide survivors with effective remedies, including compensation.
At the end of the meeting, the President expressed the need to overcome the ideological contradictions, join together and condemn the violence we encounter in our society.
You can also find more information about the course of the meeting and the topics we discussed together in the Aspect article here.
Photo: Presidential Office of the Slovak Republic