GenPolSEE Thematic Meeting – Who’s Still Afraid of Gender?

17. November 2023

Institute of Social Sciences, Institute of Philosophy and Sosial Theory, University of Belgrade


10:00-10:15    Welcome Address

Goran Bašić, Director of the Institute of Social Sciences

Gazela Pudar Draško, Director of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory

Paola Petrić, Deputy Director of Heinrich Böll Stiftung Belgrade

10:15-12:30 The troubles with gender-sensitive language

The use of gender-sensitive language contributes to raising awareness of the importance of gender equality and directly affects the process of democratization of society. It has the greatest influence on the visibility of women in public life and the way to eliminate any form of gender-based discrimination. However, in Serbia, gender sensitive language became the main arena of contestation. Is language under attack? Who threatens it – Serbian women, feminist linguists, the West, or European values as such? Can language be raped and is gender (džender) the rapist? 


Zorica Mršević, Institute of Social Sciences

Milica Antić Gaber, University of Ljubljana

Roman Kuhar, University of Ljubljana

Svetlana Tomić, Alfa BK University

Marina Nikolić, Institute for Serbian Language, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Marija Mandić, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

Jelena Ćeriman, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

Moderator: Lilijana Čičkarić, Institute of Social Sciences

12:30 – 13:00 Coffee Break

13:00-15:15 Is anti-gender only about gender sensitive language?

Anti-gender mobilisations take place in the sphere far larger than the one shaped by linguistic concerns. Moral panic spreaded by multitude of actors – right-wing groups, (ultra)conservative parties, religious and fundamentalist organisations, NGOs that gather ‘concerned parents’ or ‘concerned citizens’ – goes far beyond issues of language. What is the context of ‘gender ideology’? Where does it come from? What is its link to ‘gender theory’ – and is there such a thing? How are anti-gender mobilizations linked to the issues of violence, abortion, sexuality and gender mainstreaming in institutions, public policy and practice? Is the threat real and who articulates it in various publics? 


Biljana Kotevska, independent scholar, Skopje

Miloš Jovanović, University of Niš

Roman Kuhar, University of Ljubljana

Tanja Vučković Juroš, University of Zagreb

Vjollca Krasniqi, University of Prishtina

Moderator: Adriana Zaharijević, Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

15:15 – 16:00 Lunch break

16:00 – 18:15 Post-Yugoslav context of anti-gender mobilisations 

Anti-gender mobilisations are a truly transnational phenomenon. Gender equality has come under direct attack in Brazil and Colombia, France and Italy, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria. There is a rapidly expanding literature documenting the multiplicity of networks behind anti-gender efforts, emboldening and emboldened by powerful conservative political movements. What is happening in the post-Yugoslav context? Do we know that Slovenia and Croatia belong to the anti-gender forerunners? What links Serbian and North Macedonian anti-gender campaigns? What is the relation between Catholic and Orthodox ‘traditional values’? Who is ‘gender-critical’ and why?    


Maja Gergorić, University of Zagreb

Manja Veličkovska, independent researcher, Skopje  

Milica Resanović, University of Belgrade

Rok Smrdelj, University of Ljubljana

Tijana Matijević, University of Belgrade 

Moderator: Đurđa Trajković, Director of Reconstruction Women’s Fund  



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