ANTI-GENDER BACKLASH & DEMOCRATIC PUSHBACK (Push*Back*Lash)
LeaderProf. Dr. Alexia Katsanidou
TeamDr. Kristi Winters
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:
advance the theory and practice of gender equality as a fundamental component
of democracy in the EU (European Union) and beyond; and
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.
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
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 – 2025-12-31