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Women’s Rights and Right-Wing Populism

[Brussels 15 February 2018] Last year the Bulgarian Platform of the European Women’s Lobby was involved in research focused on the impact of nationalism/right wing populism on women rights organisations, in the frame of the project financed by the FES - Bulgarian office.

"In Europe, anti-European movements are gaining momentum, attracting sympathizers and supporters. The trend is extremely worrying about the future of Europe and has a particularly strong impact on the prevention and the protection of human rights, collective and individual rights and freedoms in the region. Far-right parties and parties with an inclination to extreme nationalism are gaining power in Europe and give rise to xenophobia and racism. Very often, the program of these populist parties and movements involves concrete steps against equality between women and men, against human rights. They create conditions for a strong anti-feminist bias, taking action to the detriment of already achieved rights.

An analysis of the policies of the political parties and movements in Bulgaria regarding the identification of program initiatives against human rights, women‘s and minority rights and their active implementation in political and social life in our country is the first of its kind, not only in Bulgaria. Such research, involving different political parties, non-governmental organizations, academic circles and media representatives, aims to explore and analyse the role of these policies for violating human rights, creating xenophobia, racism and anti-feminism, and for creating stereotypes about women and men and about minority groups, has not been done so far in another country in Europe.

The study of stereotypes and prejudices is hindered by the contrast between official discourse and everyday talk, between the novelties in life and old customs and patterns of behaviour. In modern Bulgaria there are still rudimentary ideas that are quite vital in countries with less historical experience on the road of modernization. The topics of violence against women, participation of women in decision-making processes, gender pay gap, sexist language, and stereotyping the role of women in public and private life require problematization, assessment and a vision for tackling the problem. The results of this analysis give new arguments to the democratic forces in Bulgaria to uphold Europe‘s democratic and universal values. Women‘s rights are human rights."

Find the study here in PDF.

Picture: all credits to Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Bulgarien
Facebook 17 November 2017 with Iliana Balabanova-Stoicheva.

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