Lessons Learned from Anti-Equality Mobilization

Gender, Socialism, and Postsocialism Working Group

The 21st century Central European illiberal transformation is a process deeply reliant on gender politics. A feminist analysis is central to understanding the current regime changes, both in terms of their ideological underpinnings, and with respect to their modus operandi. Key aspects of this phenomenon are: 1. opposition to the liberal equality paradigm has become a key ideological space where the illiberal alternative to the post-1989 (neo)liberal project is being forged; 2. family mainstreaming and anti-gender policies have been one of the main pillars on which the illiberal state has been erected, and through which security, equality and human rights have been redefined; 3. illiberal transformation operates through the appropriation of key concepts, tools and funding channels of liberal equality politics which have been crucial to women's rights. This talk describes some new and distinct challenges illiberal governance poses to women's rights, feminist civil society and emancipatory politics in the former Soviet bloc.

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