European Contexts: The Backsliding of Women’s Rights in Central and Southeast Europe: Who is to blame?

  • Online Seminar

  • 3. November 2021, 9 Uhr

  • Presseclub Concordia, ERSTE Foundation, fjum, Europe's Futures


Andrea Krizsán, gender expert, professor at Central European University (CEU) 

Iveta Radičová, sociologist and politician. First woman Prime Minister of Slovakia from 2010 to 2012. Dean ot the faculty of Mass Media, Pan-European University. Bratislava 

Zsuzsanna Szelényi, former member of the Hungarian Parliament (two mandates), foreign policy specialist and research fellow. Europe’s Futures Alumna. 

Ruža Smilova, professor of contemporary political philosophy and history of political ideas at the Political Science Department of Sofia University and is also a program director at the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria. IWM Fellow. 

Oana Popescu-Zamfir is director and founder of GlobalFocus Center, an independent foreign policy and strategic analysis think-tank,  and a former State Secretary for EU Affairs. Europe’s Futures Fellow. 


Women’s rights in Central and Southeast Europe seem to be backsliding parallel to the rise of illiberal democracies. Restricting reproductive rights, refusing to sign and/or ratify the Istanbul Convention, claiming that gender issues are imported/imposed by Brussels, prohibiting gender studies, portraying traditional families as the only acceptable living arrangement are some of the polices and views promoted in Central and Southeast Europe. Using misogynistic language is tolerated. Some media and politicians do it.  


Gender expert Andrea Krizsán will offer an overview of the current situation, followed by a conversation with Radičova, Selényi, Smilova and Popescu, women who have had political power and/or have been active in public life. What is their view? Are they surprised? Who is to blame? Did they expect current developments? What can be done to stop the trend? 

The event will take place via Zoom.

Concept and Moderation 

Mirjana Tomić, Presseclub Concordia/fjum and Ivan Vejvoda, acting Rector of IWM, Director of Europe*s Futures. 


Register here
Zoom link will be sent one day ahead of time to the registered participants. Registration deadline: 2 November 2021, at noon.