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Gender – Power – Eastern Europe

International Conference at the Institute of East European Studies, Freie Universität, to Address Changing Concepts of Gender and Power Relations, June 21 to 23

№ 152/2017 from Jun 06, 2017

Changing concepts of gender and power relations in Eastern Europe are the focus of an international conference to be held by the Institute of East European Studies at Freie Universität from June 21 to 23, 2017. Prominent Eastern European scholars and social scientists as well as activists will take recent social developments in Eastern Europe as a starting point to address gender issues. By looking at both history and the present, they aim to investigate how the link between gender and power is being (re)organized. The political relevance of the gender issue will be discussed by the gender researcher Prof. Agnieszka Graff (University of Warsaw) and the women's rights activist and politician Wanda Nowicka (Warsaw) among others. In addition to Poland, they will examine the (power) political situation in Hungary, Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

The rise of right-wing populist parties and conservative movements in many countries of Eastern Europe has, according to the organizers of the conference (Prof. Gertrud Pickhan, Prof. Katharina Bluhm, Dr. Justyna Stypińska, Anja Locascio, and Agnieszka Wierzcholska), had a direct impact on gender relations. This shift to the right has been accompanied by a strong anti-gender backlash on women rights and the demand for a return to traditional gender roles. In return, strong waves of protest among women, LGBT activists, and opponents of traditional gender roles and norms developed throughout Eastern Europe. Since the Czarny Protest ("Black Protest) in October 2016, when women in all of Poland took to the streets to protest the tightening of the abortion law by the ruling PIS Party, the protest movements against the movement toward conservatism also drew international attention.

Further Information

Time and Location

  • Wednesday, June 21 (welcome address: 6 p.m.) through Friday, June 23, 2017
  • Freie Universität Berlin, TOPOI Villa, Hittorfstr. 18, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem, subway station: Freie Universität (U3)


  • Agnieszka Wierzcholska, Institute of East European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Email: a.wierzcholska@fu-berlin.de
  • Christina Schmidt, Public relations, Institute of East European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Email: info@oei.fu-berlin.de