Hungary has chosen a pro-life, pro-family mother of three to become the country’s first female president.
Katalin Novak, the country’s former Minister for Family Affairs, was elected by a two-thirds majority in the Hungarian Parliament, according to Hungary Today. The country’s ruling party voted for her while most of those in the opposing party voted against her, according to the publication.
“Katalin Novák has been a significant champion for families and the thriving of all Hungarians,” Institute for Women President Valerie Huber said in a Thursday statement. “The family is the backbone of every healthy society, and is critical to the health and thriving of women, men, and children.”
“We look forward to her victory signaling Hungary’s continued commitment to the principles of the Geneva Consensus Declaration,” added Huber. “As minister, she implemented family-friendly incentives and family protections, but she also stood as a courageous woman in the defense of every Hungarian through thriving families. I am convinced she will do the same as Hungary’s first woman president!”
Hungary’s pro-family policies have been painted as “far-right” by both Western media and left-wing Hungarian media. In 2019, the new president told the National Catholic Register that “in many cases, everything is considered ‘far right; that is to the right of a given position.”
“Is it far right and extremist to support families, just because of this? The question itself is misleading,” she said. “In our eyes, the radicals are those who believe that immigration should be the only path to choose.”
“It’s not normal, for example, to compare family support to Nazism — as one Swedish minister has done,” she added. “Our main aim is to provide opportunities and to make it possible for young Hungarians to freely decide about their lives. Is this far right?”
So help me God! pic.twitter.com/BXw5CrJ7Fs
— Katalin Novák (@KatalinNovakMP) March 10, 2022
In her introductory speech, Novak called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “destructive virus” and “indefensible and inexplicable” and promised to work for unity, according to Hungary Today.
“Hungarians want peace and women want to win peace not war, because in peace we can build, prosper, and smile at each other,” she added.
Novak, who is the mother of three, discussed her lifelong alliance with her husband and said that “having children was one of the most important decisions of our lives.”
The new president of Hungary also thanked Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for permitting her to be part of “the nation-building process,” adding, “I am ready for this task, I am all prepared. I have to represent all Hungarians. I will remain who I am.”
“To do this, I will not take the cross from my neck, but I will press it to my heart,” she added.
“I belong to a generation that is ready for independence, and we will not allow Russian roulette to be played with the country,” she said, according to Hungary Today. “We have already experienced what it is like to live under Russian occupation, but we don’t want to be messed with by the West either.”
“Hungary will never be Switzerland, and for us Lake Balaton is the Riviera, Kékes is the peak, Hungarian is our secret language, Bartók and Kodály are our brands in music, our neighbors are given. We belong to Europe, and Europe belongs to us and we cannot and do not want to change it.”
— Katalin Novák (@KatalinNovakMP) March 10, 2022
In October 2021, Novak shared Hungary’s “pro-family mindset” with reporters from the United States as she described how the country established a new constitution in 2011 — replacing a former communist constitution recognizing Hungary as a “People’s Republic.”
The 2011 Hungarian Constitution protects “the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman,” supports family systems and caring for the elderly, and recognizes life from conception.
Novak, who was serving as Minister for Family Affairs at the time, told The Daily Caller that Hungary has introduced pro-family concepts into the national curriculum in schools, noting that even the wording of a math problem may encourage “pro-family attitudes or mindsets.”
Hungary also focuses on training teachers, Novak said, because “no matter what you put in the textbooks, if the teachers do not share the same mindset” teaching pro-family concepts will fail.
“You can also teach mathematics by pointing out family values or by discrediting families,” she said. “You want to teach the kids how to count, and you say, for example, ‘You are the only child in the family and your parents get divorced and they have this amount of money, how do you share it between the three of you or between the two of them?’ That’s mathematics. Or you say that you are in a family with five children, you have a birthday cake, and you have to share it among the seven. And how would you share it? It’s also mathematics.”
“So I think the importance is that you have this pro-family attitudes or mindset be reflective in each and every field of our lives and not just the traditional ones,” she added.
During those same conversations with reporters, Novak also laughed off the idea that someone who wishes to save the planet must abstain from having children, calling such a sentiment “crazy” and noting that such ideas were not common in Hungary.
“We just say that it’s stupid,” she said, adding, “That is an advantage of our politics, we speak frankly, we are outspoken. We use simple language that everyone understands.”
“If you don’t have children, for whom do you preserve the planet for?” she asked. “You want to preserve it because you want to give it to your children and grandchildren….you cannot argue with something like that in Hungary.”