In a Time of Strong Men Politics, How Do Women (Re)group?
The surge of right wing nationalist parties throughout Europe has led to an increase in sexist, demeaning remarks as well as attempts to repeal crucial legislation affecting women’s rights, warn representatives of the Brussels Binder.
Take the offensive comment by Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke who finds it acceptable that women earn less because they “have smaller brains,” or the parliamentary debates in several eastern European states where there is a clear regressive tendency in terms of women’s rights protection.
Examples like these reinforce old gender roles and lead to a decrease in women’s legal rights to choose how to live their lives. While these threats to women have triggered a new level of engagement among civil society actors in Europe, the stories also highlight that the EU is far from achieving a gender equal society.
These impressions are supported by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)’s 2017 edition of its Gender Equality Index (GEI) showing how progress has practically ground to a halt in the past decade.