KURIER: Eleven women have been murdered by men since the beginning of the year. Are the femicides due to the lockdowns and / or failures of politics?
Beate Meinl-Reisinger: Yes and no. It is evident that conflicts can escalate if, as in lockdown, you live together for a long time in a confined space. I believe that in Austria – in international comparison – a patriarchal, chauvinistic culture prevails. And yes, politics has missed a lot. Why women feel this way during the crisis is not only due to the pandemic.
This is the result of decades of conservative politics. There is nothing more going on in family and women’s politics. Family Minister Susanne Raab recently presented the family report with Professor Wolfgang Mazal. Mazal came to the conclusion that politics had reached the end of the flagpole when it came to fathers’ participation. This is unbeliveable.
What do you oppose that?
That is a task for politicians to do on their own! I know ÖVP family ministers who had more ambitions. I know we can do a lot more – as a glance at Scandinavia shows. For the current government, I have to say: it is not concerned with doing anything, because there is no tax incentive, parents and to be employed. An example: In the case of the family bonus, the tax deductibility of childcare has ceased to exist.
AK President Renate Anderl proposes a family working time model that is supposed to bring more fathers to parental leave through financial incentives.
You have to put childcare in a much broader context. When we talk about women’s politics, we always talk about men’s politics too. We can create incentives and break through role models to give men the confidence to go to their employers to apply for parental leave. The more fathers do this, the less they are confronted with social ostracism and career failures. Unfortunately, both still happen.