The aim of this policy study is to provide an account on the most advanced and recent developments of policies about gendered violence in the European Parliament (EP). Today’s context is shaped by the backlash of anti-gender movements and the rise of political groups with right-wing and extreme-right populist affinities, affecting the legitimacy of the EP altogether. As a result, gender equality is now a highly contested policy field in the EP, and it matters to understand the reasons for these contestations and develop better strategies to tackle the backlash. This policy study offers an extensive overview of the latest policy developments related to gendered violence, not only in terms of policy outcomes but also in terms of how gender equality as a norm is debated.
Analysing discourses shows the forms of resistance and stresses the counterstrategies needed to advance gender equality objectives. Eventually, the pursuit of gender equality objectives in the EP and its political groups requires coordinated efforts, which include decision-making strategies and a review of their own internal measures. This policy study reviews gender equality policies in the EP via three recent cases. They include the EU’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention, abortion rights in the EU and sexual harassment in the EP. Taken together, they showcase the necessity to prioritise the field in decision-making but also the importance of remaining attentive to both everyday practices in the Parliament and to political dynamics within and between its political groups in relation to gender equality issues.
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