Gender backlash is continually gaining momentum across the globe, and social and political institutions and policies are being dismantled. Gender justice activists and women’s rights organisations are having to mobilise quickly to counter these attacks.
With speakers from Bangladesh, Uganda, Lebanon, Serbia and India, in this official NGO CSW68 event we ask, ‘how is gender backlash weakening institutional contexts for gender justice globally?’ Speakers will discuss: stalling and lack of implementation of the Domestic Violence Prevention and Protection Act (2010) in Bangladesh; the infiltration of conservative religious and political actors in democratic institutions in the context of Serbia and neighbouring countries; anti-feminist backlash as institutional by default in Lebanon; and the legislative weakening of institutional contexts in Uganda, examining Acts which exert control over Civil Society Organisations.
11 March 2024
08:30 – 10:00 EST // 13:30 – 15:00 UK Time
Online – Zoom
Pragyna Mahpara, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD)
Sandra Aceng, Executive Director, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET)
Nay El Rahi, Activist and Researcher, Arab Institute for Women (AIW)
Nađa Bobičić, Researcher, Center for Women’s Studies Belgrade (CWS)
Santosh Kumar Giri, Director, Kolkata Rista
Jerker Edström, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Recent years have seen a rising concern over the politicisation of masculinity impacting global politics. Masculinities politics often emphasises traditional gender roles, maintaining male dominance in politics. This manifests in the underrepresentation of women in leadership and the perpetuation of gender stereotypes promoting male dominance and aggression. Additionally, the politicisation of masculinity is evident in populist movements and nationalist ideologies, relying on exaggerated hyper-masculine narratives that create a toxic political environment, reinforcing stereotypes and undermining gender equality.
This episode aims to delve deeper into the politicisation of masculinity and its global implications, explore strategies for mobilising resources to engage with men amid the current dilemma with feminist organisations, and recommend a way forward for civil society actors.
Despite a rich cultural tradition of gender-fluidity, the transgender community in India have been stigmatised as a ‘criminal tribe’ through a colonial-era law. The community has struggled for their rights over decades, and only after significant engagement with the judiciary were they finally counted in the population Census of 2011.
The Supreme Court of India ruled in 2014 that transgender persons had the right to self-identify as male, female or a third gender. It also brought into law that the constitutional rights to life, dignity and autonomy would include the right to a person’s gender identity and sexual orientation. The government then brought in the ‘Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019 (TG Act)’, and issued the Rules in September 2020, which are used to enforce the act.
But the transgender community has seen little change, and still face discrimination in everyday life.
Join Countering Backlash for the fourth session in the ‘Countering Patriarchal Backlash against Gender Justice’ Ubuntu Symposium. This will be an interactive space for reflecting on experiences of anti-feminist backlash in our own contexts, and how to explore strategies to support feminist movements in countering backlash.
Facilitators: Sinead Nolan (Chair) with Jerker Edström and Chloe Skinner.
Reflecting on insights from previous sessions on backlash, this penultimate session of this series creates an open space for conversation among participants to share practical strategies used in different contexts and begin to collectively consider some concrete steps that members of the MenEngage Alliance can take to build on and link with efforts from other gender justice movements to counter backlash.
The format involves two rounds of breakout room discussions with some three-to-five participants per breakout room, interspersed with an opening, two feedbacks and a closing in plenary. Key outcomes of the session will feed into the final plenary of the series on 1 June tying together the series and proposing ways forward for the Alliance, as per the commitment in the Alliance’s new strategic plan for 2021-24.