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15:15–16:00 Ringlokschuppen, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Bühne 1
Cluster 2: War & Conflict

Input by Elżbieta Korolczuk

Politicizing gender: the roots and effects of global anti-gender campaigns 

In recent years patriarchal gender norms and ultraconservative ideologies have become an integral part of the right-wing populist parties programs. Right-wing leaders have invested in creating their image as defenders of traditional family and the nation against the excesses of what they call “gender ideology” aiming to gain public support. This strategy works for some groups: a 2019 opinion poll showed that when asked about the biggest threats for Poland in the 21st century, the majority of young men and older people declared that their biggest fear is the threat of the “gender ideology and LGBT movement.” My presentation will focus on explaining the roots and effects of politicizing “gender” by the right in various contexts. I will examine an opportunistic synergy between the right-wing parties and ultraconservative groups opposing “gender ideology,” which plays out on two distinct levels: ideological/discursive and strategic/organizational.

In English language

Elżbieta Korolczuk is an Associate professor in sociology, working at Södertörn University in Stockholm and at the American Studies Center, Warsaw University. Her research interests involve social movements, civil society and gender. She currently studies civil society elites in Europe in a program sponsored by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, and analyzes anti-gender mobilizations and feminist responses to anti-gender and anti-democratic forces in Horizon Europe project (CCINDLE). Her most recent publications include a co-authored volume co-edited Women’s Rebellion. Black Protests and Women’s Strikes, published by European Solidarity Centre in 2019 (with Beata Kowalska, Jennifer Ramme and Claudia Snochowska-Gonzalez) and a monograph co-authored with Agnieszka Graff Anti-gender Politics in the Populist Moment (Routledge 2021). Korolczuk is also longtime women’s and human rights activist and a commentator.

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