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Session Overview
Panel 216: UACES Research Network Panel: Gendering Europe - Projecting and Internalising Gender Equality
Monday, 02/Sep/2019:
1:10pm - 2:40pm

Session Chair: Toni Haastrup, University of Stirling / JCMS
Location: Room 12.06

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UACES Research Network Panel: Gendering Europe - Projecting and Internalising Gender Equality

Chair(s): Toni Haastrup (University of Kent)

The Europeanization literature has studied the EU's ability to spread its norms within and beyond the EU. In the heyday of EU enlargement, such as during Eastern enlargement and the democratic reform period in Turkey in the first decade of the 2000s, the literature argued that the EU did indeed Europeanize its members as well as future members. More recently, against the background of increasing authoritarianism in Turkey and the EU's own crisis, this optimism is gone. The EU's new Global Strategy itself puts forward the idea of ""principled pragmatism"" as a move away from the idea of transformative power. Such a major shift in EU policy strategy provokes the question whether the EU really has failed in Europeanizing others. The contributions to this panel thus ask what is left from the EU's Europeanizing power in regards to gender norms externally and within member states. They do so by analysing domestic policies and relating them to the national, EU and international level.


Presentations of the Symposium


Construction of a Gender Equality Regime? The Case of European Union Assistance in Turkey

Büke Boşnak
Istanbul Bilgi University

"The EU has placed considerable emphasis on supporting civil society organisations both as drivers of Europeanisation and as a means to promote gender equality. The promotion of gender equality has been an important component of EU funding to civil society in its enlargement policy. While the approaches, effectiveness and outcome of civil society assistance are well documented, we lack a comprehensive analysis of EU aid and gender equality in candidate countries. To fill this gap, the paper explores how gender equality is approached and framed by the EU in the enlargement context through the analysis of EU-funded projects in gender equality and women’s rights.

Drawing on interviews and content analyses, my findings highlight that the EU follows two main approaches to gender equality. On the one hand, the EU promotes gender equality as a part of democratisation strategy. On the other hand, promotion of gender equality through legal transposition is perceived as a technical process. While the former is based on comprehensive and normative understanding of gender equality, the latter suggests an instrumental understanding of gender equality. Analysis of policy documents shows that the instrumental understanding takes precedence over comprehensive understanding in the enlargement context. This in turn harms the potential of gender equality and mainstreaming where gender issues remain purely instrumental as a technical process to prepare countries for the EU membership. The Turkish case assessed in this paper offers insights to understand the dualism between the promotion of gender equality and mainstream agendas by the EU.



Feminist Mobilization from #NiUnaMenos to International Women Strike: (des)bordering Latin American and Europe.

Gabriela Pinheiro Machado Brochner, Almudena Cabezas González
Universidad Complutense de Madrid

"2018 is the Year of Women. The paper analyze transnational expansion of political contestation articulated between feminist and women mobilizations in Latin America and beyond borders between Latin America and Europe. We choose the informal articulations and networks of the #NiUnaMenos movement, the International Women Strike and the abortion movement to deal with -three interrelated elements: how women organize practices of solidarity against structural oppression denounced as femicide, the policies of austerity or wage inequality (García, 2017; Laudano et al., 2018); the new cycle of mobilization that combine campaigns and transnational coalitions with discursive repertoires of dissemination of the protest (Pates, Logroño and Medina, 2017; Baer, 2016, Bouchard et al., 2010); and, the power and identity politics that emerge from several combination of local struggles and regional borders.

Based on a fieldwork carried out both in social networks and from militant participation in direct actions in Argentina, Brazil, and Spain (2014- 2018), we reflect on the importance of feminist multi-scalar contestation to finally also draw on intersectional feminist theory to examine the stratified axes of oppression and hierarchies evident within and across different women at Latin America and Europe. Racial and class privilege emerge as axes to explain the border regime in Madrid. And the scarce feminist mobilizations in the International Day of Domestic Workers- demonstrations or in the Antiracist movement show the opportunities to develop a powerful strategic sisterhood."


Gender stereotypes vs. culture - the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in Poland

Olga Frańczak
University of Surrey

Poland ratified the Istanbul Convention in 2015. It was a ground-breaking point in current Polish debate on gender, feminism and women’s rights. During that time, terms like ‘gender ideology’ have entered wide political debates and mass media. Even though the Convention is aimed at elimination of violence, the issue of gender stereotypes was one of the most dominant themes in the public discussion. So far, scholarship was focusing mostly on the polarising media debate. This paper aims at filling this gap and moves away from media coverage to study how the issue of gender stereotyping was addressed within the Parliament during the ratification process. Content analysis of statements delivered by the Parliamentarians proves that gender stereotypes were a dominant theme in the debate. Almost 40% of all statements concerned stereotypes, which is surprising given that the main focus of the Convention is elimination of violence. A vast majority of these statements (86%) were negative. Parliamentarians considered the obligation to fight gender stereotypes an attack to “Polish family”. Gender stereotypes are so deeply-rooted in the fabric of society, that their eradication was framed as a threat to the Polish culture. Very few Parliamentarians defended the provision, pointing out its benefits to Polish family and society. The paper aims at studying the issue of gender stereotyping during the process of ratification of the Istanbul Convention in Poland. The paper takes and cross-disciplinary approach of politics and la

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