Goal 5: Gender Equality

SDG 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Browse books and journal articles relating to this SDG below and find out more on the UN Sustainable Development Goals website.
 

Goal 5: Gender Equality

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Several studies have examined whether attitudinal factors make people more willing to accept political elites violating basic democratic norms. However, the role of more basic socio-demographic characteristics, such as gender, remains underexplored. This may be a mistake, as studies suggest that these influence the evaluation of democratic transgressions. We focus on the role of gender in evaluations of democratic transgressions and re-examine data from two conjoint experiments conducted in Finland. We examine whether the gender of the politician violating democratic norms matters, whether the gender of the person judging the democratic violations matters, and whether it matters for the evaluation of the democratic violation when both the candidate and the respondent are of the same gender. Our results indicate that gender plays at best a limited role, as we find no evidence that candidate gender or the gender of the respondent matters for the evaluations.

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Aspiring parents who are unable to have biological children increasingly rely on gestational surrogacy. This practice, while long-standing, remains controversial. Despite domestic prohibitions, several states are considering liberalising access to the process. Surrogacy regulations are complex. Debates on potential reforms are often multidimensional and raise issues about, among other features, access to bodily agency, economic compensation and exploitation, and transnational trafficking. This article leverages a pre-registered conjoint experiment in Britain, where surrogacy reforms are actively being pursued, to identify which regulatory features can garner public support. The results indicate higher levels of public support for reforms that offer moderate financial compensation, facilitate access for non-heterosexual couples, permit overseas surrogacy arrangements, require legally binding guardianship transfers from birth and have cross-party backing. Subgroup analysis shows minimal gender-based differences but some large differences based on respondents’ sexuality, identity and partisanship.

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The recent rise in anti-feminist resistance in Europe, occurring within a longer history of unravelling feminist policy gains, poses significant challenges for feminists. While scholars have closely examined resistance in cases characterised by significant equality backsliding, little is known about the contexts where anti-feminist actors are marginal and resistance is more inconspicuous. This article contributes to gender and politics scholarship, applying an integrated feminist institutionalist framework to a best-case scenario of progressive policymaking sustained over two decades: Scottish domestic abuse policymaking. Using documentary analysis and expert interviews, it traces the evolution of a form of anti-feminist resistance known as ‘whataboutery’ from 1998 to 2018. It argues that despite being positioned as losers in the debate, resistors have achieved considerable success in shaping policy trajectories and feminist strategies. The study sheds light on how feminist actors navigate real and anticipated threats to equality, illuminating the unintended consequences of women’s movements’ framing strategies.

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This article examines how international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activism is governed through state funding. Through archival material documenting the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency’s (SIDA’s) funding of two international LGBTI organizations – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and the Swedish Federation of LGBTQI Rights – complemented with interviews, we analyse power relations and management practices, how these are reconciled with SIDA’s efforts to make LGBTI funding more partner oriented, and the consequences for recipients. Our main finding is that within the funding schemes, control is exercised in less direct, hierarchical and overt ways than seems to be implied in some critiques of donor influence and ‘neocolonialism’ in the Western promotion of LGBTI rights. Instead, government takes place in multifaceted and horizontal ways, involving a variety of actors, which makes the exercise of power less visible but nonetheless far-reaching. Through SIDA’s funding schemes, power relations are reproduced in specific ways, including the partial reshaping of activist organizations into bureaucratized and depoliticized state ‘partners’.

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The article explores methodological and ethical tensions arising from positionality and reflexivity while doing feminist research in a challenging parliamentary setting, specifically one that includes radical-right populist actors that use anti-gender rhetoric. Reflecting upon positionality is vital for qualitative researchers, especially those engaged in critical feminist research, where gendered power hierarchies between researchers and their environment demand daily manoeuvring and subsequent analytical concern. We explore how the gender of the researchers, gender equality as a research topic, our feminist positionalities, and intersectional aspects shaped the research process in the context of the European Parliament. The article contributes to the literature on feminist positionalities and reflexivity by discussing not only the ambiguities emerging from our empirical research choices, such as engaging with radical-right actors, but also the other ‘critical ingredients’ that feminism handles, such as identities, relationships, power and affects, reflecting how they are interwoven with relationships and interactions in the field.

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The literature on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and queer (LGBTQ+) vote has established the constitutive role of sexuality and gender identity in vote choice. However, knowledge about how LGBTQ+ people vote in troubled times and contexts and how their voting choices and rationales relate to and affect conceptualisations and enactments of LGBTQ+ politics remains limited. This article addresses these questions based on Cypriot LGBTQ+ participants’ perspectives. The analysis of material from interviews with and questionnaires completed by LGBTQ+ participants identifies two approaches to voting among participants: voting abstention and LGBTQ+ intersectional voting. I argue that these two approaches to voting show that LGBTQ+ people understand and enact themselves as agents of intersectional social justice and radical political change. Therefore, beyond contributing to discussions about the LGBTQ+ vote, the article demonstrates the importance of LGBTQ+ individuals’ perspectives and intersectionality considerations for a well-rounded understanding of the LGBTQ+ vote and the LGBTQ+ community’s political power potential.

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With the increasing visibility of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and other (LGBTQ+) individuals, sociological debates about attitudes towards the group and their intergroup dynamics have intensified. This article investigates the link between factors explaining homophobia and negative attitudes towards bisexuals, often referred to as ‘biphobia’ or ‘bisexual erasure’, using original data collected in August 2021 from Germany (N = 1,342). The study reveals that while factors influencing homophobia and favouring bisexual erasure are similar, they are not identical. Our findings indicate that when bisexual (N = 72) and homosexual (N = 70) individuals are grouped together, they exhibit lower levels of homophobia compared to heterosexuals (N = 1,200). However, we find no significant difference between them and heterosexuals regarding bisexual erasure. This effect is primarily driven by homosexuals’ prejudice towards bisexuals. Furthermore, bisexuals, in comparison with homosexuals, are less likely to disagree with the notion that homosexuals are less capable of being good parents than heterosexuals.

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Recently, we have seen a proliferation of maps visualising the global state of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, plus (LGBTQI+) rights. While they represent a productive advocacy tool for activists, we critically examine the politics embedded and reinforced by the way maps and indices are constructed and represented. By exploring the discrepancies between ILGA-Europe’s rainbow maps and the lived experiences of LGBTQI+ people within Europe, we argue that these maps reproduce hierarchies often mediated by Eurocentric understandings of linear progress while discounting the importance that an interpenetration of legal and social aspects has in evaluating national contexts in which LGBTQI+ persons live. The emphasis on legislative frameworks, thus, in part displaces lived experiences of LGBTQI+ people in Europe, projecting both queer utopias and dystopias onto different geographical localities and feeding into existing homonationalist discourses. With such findings, we argue against the fetishisation of legislation within LGBTQI+ activism and academia.

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