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"UNTWIST: Policy recommendations to regain ""losers of feminism"" as mainstream voters"

Project description

A closer look at gender rhetoric and populism

Men and women have different needs, demands and fears related to their gender, which are diverse across social classes, ethnicities and ages. All these needs, demands and worries deserve to be adequately addressed by political representatives in our European democracies. However, many are disregarded by mainstream parties, while the radical/populist political actors currently addressing them go against the EU’s core values. The EU-funded UNTWIST project aims to find ways to unravel how particular needs, demands and worries related to gender can be addressed within the realm of the EU’s core values. Its primary working strategy will consist of empowering (non-radical/populist) parties to improve their representation of the gender-based interests of the citizenry through the definition, enhancement and dissemination of a policy recommendation handbook with evidence-based policy recommendations.


UNTWIST aims to promote gender equality as a core value of the EU, defending it from the emerging threat that the oppositional gender rhetoric from extreme populist parties represents. By developing policy recommendations that uphold gender equality as both a value and a way of life, our project will contribute to shaping the global future, thus fulfilling relevant objectives in the EU’s political agenda for the period 2019–2024. By understanding if extreme populist parties are acting as niche parties, substantively representing (but also twisting) the needs and demands of citizens “at the margins”, who feel abandoned or disempowered by current mainstream feminist discourses and policies, it will co-create alternative ways of addressing those citizens. Thus, developing, and implementing new policies that can counter gender-equality-repressive strategies and the policies of extreme populist parties. Representative democracies will consequently be reinvigorated, and the citizenship empowered, by a better safeguarding of gender equality.

UNTWIST’s main working strategy toward that end will consist of empowering (non-radical/populist) parties in Europe to improve their representation of the gender-based interests of the citizenry through the definition, enhancement and transfer of a policy recommendation handbook with evidence-based policy recommendations that: 1) help mainstream parties improve their substantive representation of sex- and gender-based needs and demands in ways that diminish the appeal of extreme populist messages (untwisting oppositional gender messages, particularly from right-wing populism); and 2) contributes to the widening horizon of gender expectations and overcomes current “gender fatigue” among citizens. The improvement in substantive democratic representation by these parties will decrease citizens' interest in the anti-feminist messages of radical or populist parties.


Net EU contribution
€ 416 776,00
41013 Sevilla

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Sur Andalucía Sevilla
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 416 776,25

Participants (6)

Partners (2)