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We are delighted to invite you to our Breakfast Discussion on “War, Oppression, and Strongmen: Rethinking the Role of Anti-Feminism in Autocratic Regimes” on Sunday 19th February, from 7.30 to 9 am CET.
This event is organised in partnership with International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), is part of the Responsible Leaders Hub Programme of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, side event series of the Munich Security Conference.
In his speech on February 24th, Russian President Vladimir Putin justified his war in Ukraine by citing the West’s attempt to undermine Russia’s “traditional values”. This justification places a central role on the devaluation of women and LGBTQI individuals as a means of supporting authoritarian policies domestically and aggressive wars abroad.
The marginalisation of women and LGBTQI communities is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes not only in Russia, but also in countries such as Belarus, Iran, and Afghanistan. Even in semi-consolidated democracies like Hungary and Poland, the attack on women’s and LGBTQI rights is a disturbing trend in the decline of democracy. According to scholarly research, the greater gender inequalities within a state, the greater the likelihood that such a state will experience internal and interstate conflict, fragility, or terrorism.
Given recent elections in Sweden and Italy, it’s crucial that we find new ways to support feminist movements and engage with anti-feminist autocratic regimes. This is particularly important for governments that have committed to a Feminist Foreign Policy or the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda.
- Bonnie D. Jenkins, US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security
- Sanam Anderlini, Founder & CEO of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)
- Mahbouba Seraj, Founder & Director at Organization for Research in Peace and Solidarity
- Gideon Rachman, Chief foreign affairs commentator for the Financial Times and author of “The Age of the Strongman”
- Dr. Leandra Bias, Political Scientist at the University of Bern.
- Kristina Lunz, Co-Founder of the Centre For Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP)
The marginalisation of women and LGBTQI communities is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes, this can be seen in, notably, Russia, Belarus, Iran and Afghanistan. But in Hungary and Poland, too, the attack on women’s and LGBTQI rights is a worrying trend in the decline of democracy. And the recent elections in Sweden and Italy make it clear to us that it is imperative that we find new ways to support feminist movements and confront anti-feminist autocratic regimes.
For this reason, more than ever, discussions about human rights, women’s rights and LGBTQI* rights in authoritarian regimes are necessary and an essential part of Feminist Foreign Policy.
The event is fully booked but will also be live-streamed on the CFFP Youtube Channel.