• Vivien Molnár
Background: Throughout the Global North, there is an observable backlash against gender or
sometimes ‘gender ideology’. This results in the contestation of both current struggles for
women’s and LGBTQI+ rights and already achieved freedoms. When anti-gender political
forces hold legislative power, the rights of women and LGBTQI+ people can be actively rolled
back. One such case is the Fidesz-KDNP government in Hungary, which used its large
parliament majority and emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic to target the
rights of queer and trans people in the country.
Objective: The objective of this thesis is to analyse four pieces of legislative action targeting
the LGBTQI+ community in Hungary, banning legal gender recognition for trans and intersex
people, banning queer people from adoption and banning queer and trans identities from the
media and schools. Connections to anti-gender sentiments are investigated and other relevant
concepts like the ‘protection of children’ is examined.
Theoretical framework: The anti-gender backlash is conceptualised through the lens of
populism, while the post-structuralist nature of Queer and Gender theory help make sense of
different branches within the movement. Standpoint theory and feminist objectivity guide the
author who has personal stake in the analysed legislation, merging research with active political
Method: The WPR-approach to policy analysis by Carol Bacchi is used to critically assess the
problem representations within anti-LGBTQI+ legislation. A literature review of other
contemporary research on the anti-gender backlash in Hungary is also included.
Results: The author argues that the Fidesz-KDNP government consciously imported antigender rhetoric into the political sphere of the country to further its agenda. The original use of
anti-gender discourse was challenging EU legislation focusing on gender equality and women’s
rights issues. Towards 2020, the original meaning of the phrase was overloaded with other,
loosely connected issues. Through attacking the rights of LGBTQI+ people in the name of
protecting children, the government shifted attention and scrutiny from its lousy handling of
the pandemic.
Key words: Hungary, anti-gender backlash, populism, LGBTQI+ rights, WPR-approach
Publication date19 Apr 2022
Number of pages66
ID: 468219735