Gender and politics literature has a strong focus on policy progress and the conditions that facilitate progressive change. Yet, increased opposition to gender equality makes it urgent to examine if and how current attacks affect existing gender-equality policies and institutions. We develop a conceptual framework to map patterns of backsliding of gender-equality policies. Empirically, we focus on Central and Eastern Europe as a notable example of backsliding. We find that rather than the direct dismantling of gender-equality policies, the core dimensions challenged by processes of backsliding are implementation and accountability. We argue that backsliding affects the legitimacy and effectiveness of existing laws and undermines democracy.
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