International Women's Day was marked in Zagreb on Tuesday with a rally called "Women have had enough" in which protesting women demanded reproductive rights and the right to abortion, expressing their dissatisfaction with increasing violation of women's acquired rights.
The Women's Network of Croatia organised the rally on Tuesday through down-town Zagreb and ended in St. Mark's Square where the protesters said that during the period of privatisation in the country in the early 1990s the first to feel the pinch were women because their companies were privatised, machinery and equipment sold off and women workers ousted into the street without the possibility of being re-employed.
Bojana Genov of the Women's Network said that they did not wish abortion to be criminalised and expressed dissatisfaction with the deteriorating status of women in society, which's why Croatia should have a Ministry for Women.
Unionist Bozica Zilic said that women were discriminated against in employment and that 90% of all casual work contracts were concluded with women. She warned of segregation, lower salaries for the same work, adding that women's wages in the European Union were on average 16% lower.
Women activists said that Croatia has a female president but that there is not enough women in politics. They added that the government's intention to grant 1,000 euro for every newborn child was "mocking young people who cannot find work or start a family."
Upon arriving in St. Mark's Square (location of the parliament and government buildings), the protesters requested that they be allowed to hand over their demands however they were advised than only two representatives could enter the government building which they objected to.
The disgruntled women said that they did not have the funds to erect a tent for 400 days (referring to protesting disabled war veterans) and that they would send their demands in writing to the government. "Seeing that the authorities are afraid of a dozen women, we will demand a new election," they said.
The protest rally ended with a minute's silence in tribute to all women killed and unknown heroines as well as refugees stopped at European borders.