Gender Equality is an overarching and long-term development goal of many international, national, and local organizations. While many strides have been made in the last century toward a more gender equal society, gender equality advocates, policymakers, and organizations have faced “backlash” in their attempts. The spaces where gendered relations are negotiated are manifold, ranging from bathrooms to war zones. Both structural obstacles as well as active “backlash” campaigns (including “anti-gender” mobilizations) stand in the way of achieving gender equality. In order to continue to work towards a gender equal society, those that oppose gender equality efforts, their tactics and motivations must be better understood.
In our reading group we hope to do the following:

  1. Explore a variety of efforts towards gender equality as well as cases where they were met with “backlash” and opposition.
  2. Interrogate the concept of “backlash” and analyze its usage and utility in the existing literature.
  3. Engage with decolonial critique and reflect on what it means to be “equal,” and who is included and excluded from visions of gender equality and progress.
  4. Discuss why “backlash” to gender equality persists, and seems to be on the rise.
  5. Discuss strategies to advance gender equality and how to avoid or combat adversary reactions, by diving into resistance movements, fighting for gender justice, across the world.







Gender Studies


Universitäre Hochschulen (UH)