Prof Roman Kuhar is a virtual guest of EUGenDem for the Gender Studies Conference Tampere 2020

We are very excited to announce that EUGenDem will be hosting virtually Prof Roman Kuhar on the occasion of the ‘Reclaiming Futures’ Gender Studies Conference, Tampere 2020.

Prof Kuhar is Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana. His research interests encompass topics of gender and sexuality, popular culture and everyday life. At the Gender Studies conference he will be delivering the key note lecture on ‘Anti-gender movements across Europe and beyond‘.


In recent years, particularly in the last decade, numerous countries in Western and Eastern Europe, in Latin America and in some other parts of the world have been faced with a fierce opposition to what looked like an irreversible process of achievement of gender equality and sexual rights. Their target includes anything from marriage and gender equality, abortion, reproductive rights, sex education, gender mainstreaming, and transgender rights to antidiscrimination policies and even the notion of gender itself. The basic idea that connects all these actors is the notion of »gender theory« or »gender ideology«. The term functions as a multi-purpose enemy, which can be shaped in different ways in order to fit into the concrete goal of a political protest. »Gender« has become an all-inclusive and catch-all mobilising tool, used by various (religious) groups, political parties and even state establishments to prevent equality policies from being adopted and implemented.

These resistances – in many ways, but not all consistent with the populist wave across Europe and beyond – should not be understood merely as a continuation of previous forms of conservative opposition to gender equality, sexual rights and other human rights pertaining to sexual citizenship policy debates. They are rather new manifestations of resistance, shaped by new forms of organisation, new types of mobilisation and new discourses, which seek to address wider audiences and not only traditional circles of conservative groups.

This presentation will map out and explore the emergence, the content and the effects of the “gender ideology” (or “gender theory”) discourse. It will examine how an academic concept of gender became a mobilising tool for neo-conservative social movements and massive street demonstrations and how the concept of human rights, which has been used until recently by the proponents of gender and LGBT equality, is now being (ab)used by neo-conservative actors.

Find more information about the event here.