Members of the Truth about the Istanbul Convention citizens’ initiative at a news conference. (Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL) Members of the Truth about the Istanbul Convention citizens’ initiative at a news conference. (Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL)

“This morning we sent an open letter to President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović proposing that she, within her constitutional authority, proposes the initiation of the referendum, which would enable the holding of the referendum prior to voting in parliament on ratification,” said Initiative Coordinator Kristina Pavlović.

“Those that are opposed to the ratification of the Istanbul Convention do not support violence against women, they are rather opposed to the gender ideology that it contains. Although the term “gender” already exists in certain Croatian laws, it has been defined in the Istanbul Convention for the first time as a construct of society that is separate from biological sex, which is the main postulate of gender ideology,” said Kristina Pavlović.

“If we are a sovereign state we should be able to adopt and implement quality laws on preventing violence on our own, and not introduce controversial, dangerous and very expensive ideologies under the guise of prevention of violence,” she added.

It was said at the news conference that judging by results of public debate on the government's e-counselling website in July 2017, in which 80% of participants were against the Istanbul Convention, its ratification in parliament would be opposed to the will of the majority of Croatian citizens.

Pavlović said that gender theory is in contradiction with science and that its promotion is confusing and disastrously effects the balanced and complete development of children and the youth. She added that as parents and citizens that are against introducing the gender concept into the education system and into the media, which the Istanbul Convention demands.

Ivan Mihanović from the Vigilare Association said that Croatia will need to allocate more than a billion kuna in budget money for the implementation of the convention. It was said that if Croatia has that money, it can finance women’s shelters and everything else needed for their better protection without the Istanbul Convention and rather spend the remainder of the money on, for example, measures to increase the birthrate than finance gender-feminist associations.

Hrvoje Zekanović from the Most party spoke to reporters separately following the news conference and expressed support for the “Truth about the Istanbul Convention” initiative and their letter to the Croatian president asking for a referendum on the issue to be called urgently.

Source: HRT