In recent years right-wing populist movements have developed throughout Europe mobilizing against gender politics and sexual self-determination. The obtained rights and practices of democratic societies are at risk. What are the strategies and ideological foundations of these actors and how do antifeminist movements affect the future of the EU?
Anti-feminism as well as anti-gender rhetoric are playing a central role in the “centering” of right-wing ideologies. They are making right-wing mindsets acceptable in mainstream society and enabling parts of society to shift to the right without appearing right-wing.
Migrant policy aside, gender and family policy is a popular target of right-wing populist attacks. The impact is penetrating deep into the heart of society – the response must therefore be comprehensive.
On October 24th and 25th, Women In Development Europe+ (WIDE+) and the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) organized an international conference in Brussels to develop a feminist analysis for the political developments in Europe. The fincal conference statement calls for a repoliticization of feminist perspectives and for building alliances to counter the recent Backlash.
The concept of "gender backlash" encompasses too activities pursued by a multitude of different local initiatives all over Central and Eastern Europe, which strongly promote tradition over equality. In many cases these groups appear to be backed and inspired both by influential US-American “pro life” organisations as well as the Kremlin’s "Gay-rope" propaganda, which aims to discredit the European Union as a place of moral decline.