All for Equality - Equality for all. Sexual and reproductive rights in CEE

Despite the unquestionable global progress concerning women’s autonomy, their human rights to decide freely and responsibly on sexual and reproductive health remain to an unacceptable degree unfulfilled. Therefore, this particular issue constituted the central theme of presentations at the Fourth International Gender Workshop in Warsaw. 

Strategizing to overcome Gender Backlash in Central and Eastern Europe

In order to reflect on the regional implications of the presumably global trend of “backlash” in gender relations the offices of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Belgrade, Berlin, Kyiv, Moscow, Prague and Warsaw invited scholars and activists from Armenia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine to attend the Third International Gender Workshop in Berlin (27-29.09.2014).

By Gert Röhrborn

Full Speed ahead, in reverse gear

Polish accession to the European Union, the election of female representatives, and existing European legislation raised high hopes for the possibility of legislative improvements for women and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people. How, then, did the first decade of Polish female representatives in the European Parliament look? Has the presence of Polish women influenced the agenda of the institution? Have there been any issues with legislation concerning equal rights, equal opportunities, and anti-discrimination?

By Anna Dryjańska

Situation of Individuals with Non-heterosexual Orientation

International organizations are beginning to pay attention to the problems of the Belarusian LGBT community. This year, reports about violations of the rights of gays and lesbians in Belarus have been published by the majority of international organizations. However, this does not translate into an actual government effort. For the time being, state authorities try to avoid addressing publicly the issue of LGBT rights, thereby hindering any public debate on this subject.

Belarus - a chance for democracy?

The European public opinion is informed about the situation in Belarus mainly in the context of spectacular or highly important political events. There is definitely a lack of up-to-date information and current analysis on subjects that do not appear on the first pages and – in case of Belarus- rarely become the subject of analytical expertise. However, these subjects are crucial for the evaluation and monitoring of the process of democratic transformation.


Anti-Gender Movements on the Rise?

The concept of "gender backlash" encompasses activities pursued by a multitude of different local initiatives all over Central and Eastern Europe, which strongly promote tradition over equality. In many cases these groups appear to be backed and inspired both by influential US-American “pro life” organisations as well as the Kremlin’s "Gay-rope" propaganda, which aims to discredit the European Union as a place of moral decline.

Overcoming Gender Backlash

We are honoured to present conference materials of the Second International Gender Workshop "Overcoming Gender Backlash: Experiences of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Poland" organized and hosted by the Kyiv office in October 2013. In this publication you shall find analyses focused on gender education, LGBT issues, as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights of women in the respective countries.


Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and inter*, and queer people in their struggle for equal rights and opportunities is one of the priorities of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identities, all people should enjoy human rights and freedom from discrimination.