Interpretive studies of EU gender equality policies show that gender equality is constructed and contested in the EU. Not only does the European Parliament or the European Commission put forward different framings of gender equality problems and solutions, but also within each institution different meanings are attributed to gender, equality, women and men. This ongoing construction and contestation that takes place in the daily dynamics between actors, discourses and institutions, is what produces change in EU gender equality policies. Shifts in framing over time show the expansion of gender equality policy strategies from equal treatment to positive actions, gender mainstreaming and multiple inequalities, the institutional and policy moves from employment to human rights, and the predominance of neoliberal economic priorities over gender and social aims in times of economic crisis. Interpretive works show that power relations mobilised in the construction of Europe have important gender and intersectional dimensions.
Lise Rolandsen Agustín and Emanuela Lombardo
This chapter examines the concept of intersectionality – the intersection of gender with inequalities of race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, age, and other systems of domination – in relation to gender-based violence. It shows how applying an intersectional approach to the study of gender-based violence policies contributes to exposing power dynamics that intersecting systems of inequalities produce, and their effects on people and policymaking. It provides an intersectional perspective on the ways in which policymaking treats target groups of gender-based violence, exposing the focus on victims and the lack of attention to perpetrators, as well as the main inequality categories intersected in policymaking. It addresses the quality of policymaking process and content from an intersectional approach, pointing at inclusiveness as a key feature of intersectional policy approaches. It not only discusses approaches for applying intersectionality in policymaking that attempt to demarginalize people who experience intersecting inequalities, but also addresses challenging debates concerning the risks of stigmatization and culturalization of policy approaches that deal with multiple inequalities. Finally, the chapter recommends future studies to analyse the application of intersectional approaches in gender-based violence at the stage of policy implementation and develop intersectional educational practices that have the potential to deeply transform existing power inequalities.