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What is Push*Back*Lash?

Horizon Europe Push*Back*Lash project is a transdisciplinary project that takes intersectionality to heart and advances the theory and practice of feminism(s) through rigorous, comparative multimethod research in support of the quality of democratic governance in more inclusive European societies.

It explores political actors, their agendas, and strategies to promote anti-gender equality in the European Union, using a large methodological palette – surveys, experiments, interviews, focus groups, and participatory theater. Push*Back*Lash is also distinctively solution-oriented. 

The project designs and empirically tests counter-strategies to overcome the pushback against gender equality and democracy in Europe and seeks to equip pro-equality actors with practical toolkits for responding to anti-gender equality and anti-feminist discursive strategies and backlash tactics. To this end, the project brings together civil society activists, EU experts, and researchers from the fields of political science, sociology, anthropology, communication and media, philosophy, and social psychology from 11 universities and organizations in Europe.

The Multimethod Approach of Push*Back*Lash. Click to enlarge. WP stands for "Working Package" (see below).
Goals & Objectives​
What are the project’s goals?


To systematically inquire into the present-day contestation of gender equality issues and policies at both elite and citizen levels. Approaching democracy from a global feminist perspective, the project employs a rigorous, comparative, multi-method design (e.g., experiments, surveys, interviews, participatory theatre). 

This approach enables: (a) identifying anti-gender strategies as well as best practices in counter-acting them across space and time; and (b) assessing the effects of anti-gender discourses by focusing on parties, social media and the public opinion.


To develop and test strategies that can effectively counteract anti-gender and anti-feminist discursive strategies.

Aiming at supporting the quality of democratic governance in more inclusive European societies, the project acknowledges intersections between gender and other social categories at all stages of the project (composition of consortium and advisory board; theory formulation, empirical investigation, and policy recommendations) and thus engage with stakeholders. 

What are the project’s objectives?
  1. To engender democratic theory from an intersectional perspective.
  2. To understand anti-gender discursive strategies and backlash tactics & assess their effects.
  3. To identify best strategies for countering anti-gender discourses and strengthening democratic values and practices, taking into account the role played by parties, social media and public opinion.
  4. To develop solutions, policy recommendations and context-sensitive tools for engendering democratic spaces from an intersectional perspective.
  5. To co-create and disseminate knowledge for gender equality.
Working Packages​

reviews the contribution of feminist theory and intersectional analysis to democratic theory in the context of anti-gender and anti-feminist movements and develops the conceptual framework on gender justice in a new age of democracy without reinforcing orientalist and discriminatory practices in the global North.


examines the public opinion on gender equality, feminism(s), and democracy and how these opinions change within the individual, over space and time, and through gender (un)equal contexts. 


analyses the dynamics in attention toward gender+ equality issues across space, time, and institutional venues. It investigates the appearance of the issues on the institutional agendas, the actors involved and the strategies/counter-strategies, the combination with other issues, and their travelling across venues, space, and time.


analyzes anti-gender equality strategies on Twitter to develop typologies of mobilization and counterstrategies. This analysis contributes to the creation of a toolkit for online actors in the field.

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Processing of personal data work package 4

For the purpose of our research about anti-gender equality strategies on Twitter we are processing personal data obtained from public Twitter accounts. We have taken secure organisational and technical measures to ensure the privacy of individual and prevent any unauthorized use of the data. The data will not be shared with Third parties and solely be used for the purpose of this research project.  The data is securely stored at the University of Amsterdam. For more information see

If you believe that your personal data are being processed in contravention of the GDPR, you can submit a complaint to the Data Protection Officer (DPO) via The DPO is the link between the UvA and the external supervisor (the Dutch Data Protection Authority). The DPO acts independently and can consult with or seek advice from the Dutch Data Protection Authority regarding your complaint.


analyzes intersectionality in anti-gender discourses, focusing on gender and disability, gender, race and ethnicity, and economic status. It also pursues the question of whether and how the instrumentalization of gender-based violence reinforces racist and patriarchal structures in transnational contexts.


experimentally tests the causal effects of anti-gender discourses on citizens as well as strategies that counteract these effects.


identifies the pushback strategies that are deployed against anti-gender discourses and develop best practices that will be made publicly available, with a special focus on pushback strategies for intersectional feminist activism.


analyzes how the changed and changing reality in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted gender equality, feminism(s), and anti-gender discourses in the EU.


uses the Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) in universities to evaluate its value as a pushback strategy for young people.