President Katalin Novák said that support for women should rest on the assumption that most women are mothers or will be at some point.
Addressing the 67th annual meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York, President Novák called motherhood a “privilege” but women should not be forced to choose between motherhood and a career. In the West, she noted at the event held on Monday, women enjoy similar opportunities to men in terms of education, career, and workplace advancement. The main difference “is whether we have children or not”, she said, adding that she has three children. The president said the traditional family, the basis of Judeo-Christian culture, was “under attack”. The family and family values must be protected, she declared. Novák said that forces were at work “to tear families apart” and discourage young people from having children. Many see family life as outdated, she said, yet “our values do not change with the passage of time”.
The president said families comprising a mother, father and children “are in the crosshairs”, adding that many “look down” on those who successfully raise children. She said the Hungarian family-oriented model was under attack and forces were working to “prevent us from deciding how to raise our children”. The president said that people who had not assumed responsibility for raising children “want to raise our children”. “[B]ut we will protect our children, our culture and our traditions,” she said. Meanwhile, Novák quoted Pope Francis as saying that “there are no just wars”. The president underlined Hungary’s “firm commitment to peace”. “We Christians, we Hungarians, we mothers” do not want to add fuel to this war, “we want to end it,” she said, adding that the suffering mainly affected families. On the event’s sidelines, the president had a bilateral meeting with Morocco’s foreign minister.