Hungary

Are these countries trying to roll back women's rights?

Poland intends to leave the Istanbul Convention on domestic violence, others may follow
Activists are voicing concern over a indications by several European countries that they will pull out of the Istanbul Convention - a treaty aiming to tackle domestic violence and protect women's rights. 

Poland this week began the process of withdrawing from the agreement. Protest marches have been taking place in the capital Warsaw and also in Turkey, where there is speculation the government has similar intentions.

Attempts to ratify the treaty in Hungary, Bulgaria and Latvia have been defeated and Russia has never signed it.

Writer and women's rights activist Elif Shafak told Newsday that it is no coincidence that countries with rising patriarchy are the one's in the spotlight.

(Photo: Women in Warsaw Poland's plan to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention. Credit: Getty Images)

Hungary's pupils back in class for exams

Nick Thorpe, BBC News

Budapest school exam, 4 May 20
EPA
Exams at Szerb Antal secondary school in Budapest

In Hungary 84,000 pupils were back in classrooms on Monday to sit their high school exams, despite the country's lockdown.

Most appeared relieved that the exams were not postponed, but teachers’ unions and parents voiced concerns that pupils and staff might spread coronavirus.

Written exams have been condensed into two weeks, and no oral exams will be held.

The mood was festive outside the Bela Bartok music gymnasium in central Budapest. Pupils who hadn’t seen each other for six weeks gathered in their best clothes, bumping elbows or knuckles in greeting, but there was no hugging or kissing.

They filed into classrooms one by one, and about half wore face masks. At some schools police patrolled to enforce social distancing, but not here.

Inside, seven students sat in each classroom. Masks were not compulsory during the exam, although supervisors kept theirs on.

The main teachers’ union was not consulted by the government, and opposed the decision to go ahead with the exams.

With 3,000 known coronavirus infections and 350 deaths, the peak has still not been reached in Hungary.