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Ongoing project

Feminism and support for gender equality – new polarizing trends?

Project period 2020 - 2021

Feminism and support for gender equality – new polarizing trends?

Anti-feminism and anti-gender campaigns are central in alt-right mobilization in many countries. Current growing protest against feminism and gender equality opposes what for many years have appeared as an almost frictionless development towards increased gender equality.

We will explore how (an eventual) increasing polarization concerning feminism and gender equality is expressed in a – generally speaking – gender equality-friendly Norwegian public. We map the questions on gender equality support that have been included in surveys over time, and explore to what extent the selection and wording of questions affects the identification of tendencies of polarization on gender equality issues. These analyses will be the point of departure for an assessment of whether the tendencies we find express different views on what the current gender equality challenges are – and whether there is a challenge to address at all. 

Through our mapping and analyses, we aim to better understand whether gender equality norms are under pressure following an increased tendency of polarization in the public debate. We argue that an analysis of a group of gender equality questions constitutes an interesting point of departure to assess what anti-feminism is and means in the Norwegian context. Any criticism of gender equality and feminism should not be interpreted as expression of anti-feminism. However, analyses of variation in support for gender equality – measured by different survey items – may form an interesting basis for assessing what anti-feminism is and is not. We are particularly interested in exploring whether it is the case, even in Norway, that polarization has led to increased opposition to certain aspects of gender equality in the society.


Ragni Hege Kitterød Dr. polit. Research Professor +47 950 50 375 Send e-mail
Mari Teigen Dr. polit. Research professor, Director CORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality +47 482 07 137 Send e-mail
Published Jan. 20, 2020 9:12 AM - Last modified Jan. 20, 2020 9:14 AM