The perception of the Istanbul Convention in the Lithuanian Mainstream Media: Is “Gender Ideology” on the Rise?
(Vnímanie Istanbulského dohovoru v litovských médiách hlavného prúdu: Je „rodová ideológia“ na vzostupe?)
Politické vedy, Volume 24, Number 4/2021, pages 16-37
Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
LINKEVICIUTEM, J. The perception of the Istanbul Convention in the Lithuanian Mainstream Media: Is “Gender Ideology” on the Rise? In Politické Vedy. Vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 16-37. ISSN 1335 – 2741. Available at: https://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2021.24.4.16-37
In recent years, there has been an increase in the so-called anti-gender campaigns across Europe and Latin America. The main aim of these campaigns is to oppose “gender ideology”, or what is perceived as an unnatural subversion of traditional and acceptable gender norms, roles, and relations. The anti-gender campaigns were quickly deemed an international movement by scholars, specifically prevalent in Eastern and Central Europe. However, a lack of empirical case studies of the situation in each Eastern and Central European country and a tendency to overgeneralize make such claims debatable. This paper set out to answer the question of whether the anti-gender narratives had become salient in Lithuania—specifically, in the context of ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention—based on a comprehensive analysis of the Lithuanian online news media articles on the topic. The paper argues that the signing of the Convention acted as a mobilizing force for the topic of gender ideology to enter the Lithuanian mainstream media. Although the subject matter seems to have gained public traction as evident through the organization of rallies against the Convention in Lithuania, the mainstream media has not played a significant role in escalating the anti-gender narratives.
Key words: gender ideology, Lithuania, Eastern Europe, anti-gender, Istanbul Convention, gender-based violence