Teaching material

A series of case studies to accompany the course programme. They comprise syntheses as well as class material.


Synthesis # 10 – by Marie Daviet (Université de Nantes)

Le gender mainstreaming en question : l’exemple du programme Erasmus+

Le gender mainstreaming est un instrument mis en place par la Commission européenne dans les années 1990 et qui implique de prendre en compte le genre dans toutes les politiques et à toutes les étapes de celles-ci. S’il peut impliquer un certain changement, il se heurte également à de nombreuses limites. Analyser le programme Erasmus+ 2014-2020 permet de constater que la dimension de genre y est faiblement intégrée, diluée parmi de nombreuses autres inégalités et sans cadre précis de mise en œuvre.

Télécharger le cas d’études ICI


Class material # 1 – by Andréa Delestrade (LSE)

Constructing the European polity through symbolic policy: the case of gender mainstreaming in the EU

This teaching material gives some background elements to a political theory of the European Union (EU), supplementing the traditional political science accounts of the European construction. The EU has often been described as rooting its legitimacy in economic-based policies, but it has also sought to build a legitimacy through symbolic and cultural policies. This tendency in EU legitimacy-building can be explored in class through the case of gender mainstreaming.

Download the full case study HERE.


Synthesis # 9 – by Victoire Olczak (Sciences Po, Gender5+)

Gendering the Conference on the Future of Europe

The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) was a citizen-led series of discussions that took place from April 2021 to May 2022 and allowed people from across Europe to share ideas on how to build a common future. The CoFoE concluded its work at a final plenary session on May 9, 2022, with the submission of 49 proposals to the European institutions. A first look at the conference reveals the discrepancy between a seemingly open and inclusive process and the lack of actual gender mainstreaming measures obtained in the end. Indeed, despite the strong inclusion of women at all levels of the conference, only 4% of the measures eventually adopted addressed gender issues or included a gender approach. This led the Commission to report a year later only relative progress on some gender-related actions, and nothing on actions that could bring about structural change. A key element that the CoFoE revealed is that gender mainstreaming is still not effective in the EU institutions. Implementing gender mainstreaming in European policies and programs requires more political attention and resources than are currently allocated. New institutional mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure that gender analysis in policies is systematised in all EU institutions with stricter enforcement and monitoring.

Download the full case study HERE.


Synthesis # 8 – by Tarinda Bak (College of Europe)

Un état des lieux de la législation des États membres de l’UE concernant l’avortement

Le droit à l’IVG (Interruption Volontaire de Grossesse) est un sujet délicat qui est traité différemment au sein de chaque État membre de l’Union européenne, posant ainsi la question de son existence, de son absence, ou de sa limitation.

Ce débat fut récemment relancé avec deux événements. D’une part en Pologne, avec la mort d’Izabel en septembre 2021, une femme de 30 ans qui fut la première victime sur trois de la nouvelle législation anti-avortement entrée en vigueur dans le pays. Et d’autre part, aux États-Unis, avec le précédent qu’a établi la Cour Suprême dans sa jurisprudence sur l’avortement, notamment dans l’affaire “Roe vs. Wade (1973)”, qui avait été confirmé dans les arrêts “Planned Parenthood vs. Casey (1992)” et “Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt (2016)”. Ces affaires ont permis de légaliser le droit à l’avortement aux États-Unis avant le seuil de viabilité du fœtus. Cependant, le 24 juin 2022, par 5 voix contre 4, la Cour suprême a décidé d’annuler l’arrêt Roe vs. Wade, mettant ainsi fin à un droit constitutionnel fédéral à l’avortement. Depuis lors, il y a eu un certain nombre de manifestations en faveur du droit à l’avortement aux États-Unis, en Pologne avec le slogan « plus jamais ça », et dans toute l’Union européenne. C’est la raison pour laquelle les Européennes ont également manifesté et se sont interrogé sur leurs propres droit à l’avortement, sur les possibles modifications de la législation et sur les conséquences qui en découlent au sein de leurs États.

Télécharger le cas d’étude ICI.


Synthesis # 7 – by Coralie Hazan (UCLouvain)

Le “triangle de velours” : réseau de la politique européenne d’égalité de genre

La notion de « triangle de velours » théorisée par Alison Woodward en 2003 décrit les relations informelles de coopération entre les actrices féministes du secteur politico-institutionnel, du milieu académique et de la société civile formant un réseau triangulaire qui travaille à l’élaboration des politiques européennes d’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes à partir des années 1970.

Télécharger le cas d’étude ICI.


Synthesis # 6 – by Valentine Berthet (University of Helsinki)

Role and Powers of the FEMM Committee

Pro-gender equality actors in the European Parliament are generally members of the FEMM Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. FEMM is the specialised body in the EP responsible for advancing gender equality throughout the parliamentary activities and policies. It has been a key actor since its establishment and has carried out many of the EP resolutions on gender equality. Despite FEMM’s many successes in advocating for a progressive approach to gender equality at the EU level, its composition has recently evolved in a way that threaten such developments. Following the EP elections of 2014 and of 2019, many radical right populist actors entered the EP and joined the FEMM Committee. Whilst their presence in the Committee did not yet have a profound impact on policy outcomes, there is now more than ever strong contestations against gender equality in the FEMM Committee.

Downlaod the full case study HERE.


Synthesis # 5 – by Jade Iafrate

Ecrire l’Histoire de la Journée Internationale de la Femme

Adoptée en 1977, la « Journée internationale de la femme » vise à célébrer les réalisations des femmes, à promouvoir l’amélioration de leur condition et un meilleur accès à l’égalité des droits dans le monde entier. Contrairement à certaines journées internationales reconnues par l’ONU, il n’existe pas d’accord international ou de compréhension unanime de ce que le 8 mars pourrait signifier. Si le nom officiel de l’ONU est « Journée internationale de la femme », de nombreux États défendent une modification pour « Journée internationale des droits des femmes ».

Télécharger le cas d’étude ICI.


Synthesis # 4 – by Valentine Berthet (University of Helsinki)

Struggles over Sexual Harassment in the European Parliament

Debating sexual harassment as a policy issue is longstanding, even in the European Parliament (EP). Nonetheless, the global #MeToo movement exposed the prevalence of sexual harassment across diverse contexts, including political institutions, and reshuffled the ways in which sexual harassment was perceived globally and within the European Parliament. With the impulse of the internal #MeTooEP campaign, some changes have occurred in European Parliament, but the institutional response against sexual harassment remained patchy and weak, with a strong resistance to institutional change.

Download the full case study HERE


Synthesis # 3 – by Valentine Berthet (University of Helsinki)

Opposition to gender equality in the European Parliament

Approximately 30% of MEPs contest gender equality. Opposition is visible across parliamentary levels, at different stages of policymaking but varies across policy fields. Opposition lead to less ambitious policy proposals and to the development of a political project against equality. Opposition exists also in groups that formally support equality.

Download the full case study HERE


Synthesis #2 – by Valentine Berthet (University of Helsinki)

Opposition to gender equality in the European Union

Opposition is a global phenomenon that seeks to hamper the development of gender equality at the national, transnational, and international levels. In the EU, opposition affects policymaking, politics, and public debates. Amongst others, it targets gender equality, sexuality rights, LGBTIQ+ rights, reproductive rights, and minority rights. There exist direct and indirect strategies of opposition.

It poses a serious threat to the protection and expansion of gender equality rights and policies in Europe. In response, gender equality must be upheld as a non-negotiable democratic principle in the EU.

Download the full case study HERE


Synthesis #1 – by Valentine Berthet (University of Helsinki)

The EU’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and domestic violence

The Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention, is the most comprehensive international and legally binding text of its kind. Negotiated in the Council of Europe, an international organisation which counts 47 states as members, it entered into force in 34 of those states. Six EU member states have not yet ratified it and keep resisting it. The European Parliament debated EU’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention several times. The recent withdrawal of Turkey from this Convention has reopened the debate on its ratification at the European level. This debate showed deep ideological cleavages amongst Members of the European Parliaments and highlighted both direct and indirect strategies of opposition to gender equality.

Download the full case study HERE