Albanian MP under fire for sexist language

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 2, 2017 10:40

Story Highlights

  • The former defense minister was criticizing his party's leader when he said that an experienced woman politician was left out of parliament, while “jobless housewives known only for popping out three or five kids made the list.”

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Arben Imami (Photo: Wikimedia)

TIRANA, May 30 – Democratic Party lawmaker Arben Imami has come under fire for using sexist and denigrating language toward housewives and mothers in a television talk show.

The former defense minister was criticizing his party’s leader when he said that an experienced woman politician was left out of parliament, while “jobless housewives known only for popping out three or five kids made the list.”

Imami, an actor-turned-politician, used the Albanian word “pjellje” meant for animals who give birth, not humans.

There were reactions from women intellectuals and members of the clergy.

Flutura Açka, a novelist, said it is shameful to hear a lawmaker say that “being a mother of many children prevents you from running for office as an equal.”

Rev. Gjergj Meta, a Catholic priest and commentator, said mothers should have active participation in the social and political life of the country.

“This trivial logic of Mr. Imami’s statement is seen today in women who fear losing their job or career by getting married and having babies. … The consequences of this logic are devastating to a society.”

He added, “Politics can not be done without the family or by bypassing it. The more people with family and marriage sense in parliament the better it will be, the more humane and responsible it will be. Motherhood is life, and life is the most beautiful gift God has given us.”

Faced with the backlash, Imami reacted on social media a day after, saying motherhood is the most honorable affair, but a private one.

He hadded that his statement did not mean mothers should be deprived from participating in public life.

“My comparison was among the public merits of Mrs. [Jozefina] Topalli — who has also given birth to children, but this is not the reason for her public merit — and the full lack of the candidate’s current public life. I hope I have dissipated any ambiguity in the remarks made.”

 

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 2, 2017 10:40