The women taking on the Orbán regime

The recent protests against the Orbán regime in Hungary were some of the most powerful yet. And women were on the frontlines.

Claudia Ciobanu
Claudia Ciobanu NewsMavens, Central & Eastern Europe
The women taking on the Orbán regime - NewsMavens
Viktor Orbán. Wikimedia commons.

Why this story matters:

The strength of the last wave of protests in Hungary was driven in big part by an economic issue bringing together people beyond the usual liberal crowd: the government had passed a law forcing workers to do many more hours of unpaid overwork.

But there's another element making these protests special, and it has recently been under the spotlight. Women MPs are at the forefront and this helps unite the opposition. 

Women have a stake in opposing the Orban regime, whose policies have focused on their role as childbearers and home-makers. Plus, they oppose the generally macho political style of Orbán and his acolytes. 

Details from the story:

  • Women MPs from Hungarian opposition parties are taking the stage and addressing crowds at the recent protests. They have a crucial role in strategy meetings and are beginning to emerge as the face of the protests. 
  • The fact that women have taken on a key role -- and that big male egos are out of the way -- seems to have contributed to the uniting of the anti-Orban opposition, which had been splintered thus far. 
  • Having women as faces of the protests also renews trust in the opposition movement, especially for those who had been disenchanted with its lack of effectiveness in the past. 
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