Attack on democracy? Anti-Gender-Movements in Europe

Gender and equality policies of the European Union have been a success story for several decades. The gender mainstreaming strategy and many anti-discrimination directives set the framework for human rights-based and participatory policies. In recent years, however, right-wing populist movements have developed throughout Europe and mobilize against gender politics and sexual self-determination. The obtained rights and practices of open democratic societies, for example in the area of sexual and reproductive self-determination, are challenged and antifeminists want to reduce them. Right-wing populist parties in the European Parliament are more present and are increasingly influencing the debates. Well-connected transnational parliamentary groups abuse the parliament as a stage to erode the base of EU gender politics and thus a piece of feminist success story.

The articles in this dossier describe which ideological sources current anti-feminism is based on, which actors mobilize in mostly international networks, which strategies they use and how this affects European countries and the EU politics in total.

Further Readings

women's day protest in Warsaw, Poland

CEDAW and Poland: Backtracking on Gender Equality

“We have allowed things to run their own course for far too long. It’s about democracy.”

Feministische Außenpolitik

Women's power in the strongholds of the Patriarchate

STOP in stencil on the floor

Anti-feminism – the hinge connecting the right-wing periphery and the centre

Dossier: Europe – a Gender Equality Project?

Equality and Gender in Europe - A critical analysis

Publications