Past Event

Anti-Gender Politics and Democratic Backsliding in Turkey and Beyond

March 22, 2023
4:10 PM - 5:30 PM
International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027 Lindsay Rogers Room, 7th Floor


Yasmine Ergas (Columbia University)

Zeynep Gülru Göker (Sabancı University)

Zehra Kabasakal Arat (University of Connecticut)

Barbara Sutton (SUNY-Albany)

Convener: Türküler Işıksel (Columbia University)


Mobilization against women’s rights, LGBTI+ rights, and gender equality (denoted "anti-gender politics") has become a near-universal feature of populist, authoritarian and religious-conservative movements around the world. As they erode constitutional democratic safeguards of all kinds, these movements take aim at the civil, political, and socio-economic rights of women and LGBTI+ and seek to overturn the achievements of decades of local and transnational rights-based activism. Alongside seeking traditional legislative, administrative, and constitutional means of advancing their political agenda, they construct and disseminate alternative, essentialist narratives of gender and sexuality in a variety of contexts, including universities, civil society, and the media. Paying attention to the global ramifications as well as local specificities of anti-gender mobilization, this panel will examine "anti-gender" mobilization as both a symptom and an accelerant of democratic backsliding, and discuss their implications on gender and sexuality activism, policy-making, and the academy. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Panel discussion: 4:10-5:30 PM

Reception to follow

International Affairs Building 707, (Lindsay Rogers Room)

This event is in-person only. Please register here:

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science at Columbia University.

Contact Information

Sakip Sabanci Center