ANTI-GENDER BACKLASH & DEMOCRATIC PUSHBACK (Push*Back*Lash)
Gender equality has never been so high on the European Union (EU)’s and the United Nation (UN)’s agendas. While feminists across Europe and the world have achieved significant – albeit slow – progress during the last decades, we are currently witnessing a changed and changing reality in Europe and beyond: on the one hand, since the 2010s, anti-feminist and anti-gender gender discourses have proliferated. On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionally affected women’s and girls’ lives, showing how easily the hard-won progress for women’s rights can be reversed. While aiming at keeping people safe at home, lockdown measures amplified gender-based violence. At the same time, the unprecedented digitalization of our daily life due to Covid-19 (expanded use of online communication tools) increased the risk of gender based-online violence and the diffusion of misogynist narratives. Notwithstanding rollbacks in gender equality, the Covid-19 crisis provides Europe and the world opportunities for change: gender equality is a necessity for a sustainable post-pandemic recovery and for resilient, just, and inclusive societies1; more fundamentally, however, gender equality is a precondition for democracy and as such it is also central to the Union’s existence and its future development. Against this background, our project proposes a solid democratic pushback against the backlash. The overarching goal of PUSH*BACK*LASH is two-fold:
· To advance the theory and practice of gender equality as a fundamental component of democracy in the EU (European Union) and beyond; and
· by engendering democracy intersectionally, to counter-act anti-gender backlash discourses and tactics and to strengthen democracy and spaces of democratic participation in the Union as a whole.
In the following, we translate our two-fold goal into 5 specific objectives and contextualize them in the Call:
1) Engendering democratic theory from an intersectional perspective.
2) Understanding anti-gender discursive strategies and backlash tactics & assessing their effects.
3) Identifying best strategies for countering anti-gender discourses and strengthening democratic values and practices, taking into account the role played by parties, social media and public opinion.
4)Developing solutions, policy recommendations and context-sensitive tools for engendering democratic spaces from an intersectional perspective.
5) Co-creating and disseminating knowledge for gender equality.
Runtime2023-01-01 – 2026-12-31