Hungary’s National Audit Office has published a report on the risk of the country’s education system being “too feminine”, saying it could harm the development of boys and create demographic problems.
The report was released last month but did not gain public attention until a newspaper article was published on Thursday.
“The phenomenon called ‘pink education’ has numerous economic and social consequences,” said a report by a government agency believed to be close to nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
As in many countries, teachers in Hungary are dominated by women, who make up 82% of the country’s teachers.
“If education favors feminine traits” such as “emotional and social maturity” and “provokes the overrepresentation of women in universities, (gender) equality will be significantly weakened,” the report concludes.
He warned that if boys, who he says are more entrepreneurial and risk-taking, are not allowed to develop without restrictions, they will be at risk of “mental and behavioral problems”.
The report adds that boyish traits of creativity and innovation are “necessary for optimal economic development.”
The audit office says that “pink education” can cause “demographic problems” as educated women will not be able to find husbands and wives with the same education, “which could lead to lower birth rates”.
In response, Hungarian opposition MP Endre Toth said on Facebook that talk about male and female qualities is “complete scientific absurdity.”
“It’s time to take off the glasses from the last century,” he added.
Orbán promoted a “conservative revolution” after returning to power in 2010, encouraging nativism and vilifying immigrants. He also defended a controversial law banning LGBTQ content to minors.
In 2019, after a visit, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights noted “a setback in the field of women’s rights and gender equality in Hungary.”
Although Hungary recently elected Katalin Novak as its first female president, Hungary has only one woman as a minister, putting it second to last in the European Union in terms of female representation in government.