The beginning of the 21st century was marked by the emergence and geographical spread of anti-gender movements in Europe and Latin America. The movement rallies against LGBT rights, reproductive rights, sex and gender education, gender studies and democracy. When looking at the EU, their presence is most visible in Eastern Europe. Whether by organising referendums, preventing the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, or holding large protests, the anti-gender movement seems to have generated successful outcomes.
At the same time, the post-communist region is known to have comparatively lower levels of protest mobilisation as well as perceived to have a weak civil society. Additionally, research on social movements is scarce and primarily focuses on the issues of ‘NGO-isation’ or ‘professionalisation’. The presence and development of radical right social movements remain absent.
By analysing the extent to which the anti-gender movement has developed in post-communist Europe, I look at the strength of each national movement and the issues the movement mobilises around in each country. The research is based on protest event analysis of anti-gender movements through gathering data on anti-gender referendums, protests, and online petitions in 11 post-communist countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia).
Maja Gergorić is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology and a research assistant at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, focusing on the emergence of anti-gender movements in post-communist Europe. Currently, she is extensively analysing the anti-abortion movements. She is also involved, as a researcher, lecturer and activist, in various Zagreb-based human rights, feminist and LGBT organisations.