Gender and Sexuality

Ernesto Arias/EFE

In this era of growing populism and anti-rights dialogue, women’s rights and LGTBI rights are under increasing threat. From the draconian anti-abortion laws taking hold in multiple US states, to the rise of ultra-conservative rhetoric in Chile’s politics, to the disproportionate effect of climate change on women and battles over “gender ideology”, the battle for women’s and LGTBI rights is being fought all over the globe. But there is hope: the #metoo movement has become far more than just a hashtag, renewing an inclusive public discussion on consent and gender-based violence. Young feminists in the global South are mobilizing, and LGTBI communities are rising up in solidarity against repressive states. In response, UN treaty bodies are increasingly scrutinizing states’ treatment of LGBTI persons.

But “gender” is not just about women and LGBTI persons. For over a decade, scholars and practitioners have emphasized that gender equality and the reduction of gender-based violence also requires an investigation into masculinity. And a recent UN resolution acknowledged that men and boys have long been hidden victims of sexual violence in conflict. Gender is about power dynamics, behavioural expectations, constructed identities and harmful inequalities.

The articles in this series examine how far we have come on gender and human rights and look forward to where we are going. What can women do in the face of regressive laws that threaten their hard-won reproductive rights? What effect does US policy on women’s rights have on both men and women in the global South? How does climate change exacerbate gender-based violence, and why? What are the most effective means for LGTBI communities to fight back against increasing repression and hate speech? These are just some of the many topics explored in this series.