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Radical Right Parties and the Gender Issue
Anna Sergeenkova
Modern political reality, obscured by popular feminist rhetoric, is characterized by the
fact that voters' problems go beyond the boundaries of gender dividing lines and are often
determined by a wider range of socio-economic differences. Women vote for radical right
parties not only to solve women's issues, but also because of problems and hopes common
with men of their national community or social class, signaling us about the current lack of
political projects, which are based on a construct exclusively of female interests.
In this paper I am going to discuss such problematic issues that are based on a gender
dimension - for example, the feminization of some low-paying areas of activity or the care and
supervision work that falls on women's shoulders - however, such issues are not limited only by
the gender dimension.
The first paper that I would like to consider while discussing the problem of the radical
right political parties and the gender issue is a book Gender and the Radical and Extreme
Right: Mechanisms of Transmission and the Role of Educational Interventions”, edited
by Cynthia Miller-Idriss and Hilary Pilkington. It is written by several authors to offer various
points of view on an issue that is often ignored nowadays: connection of the radical and
extreme right, education and gender. This book contributes to a better understanding of the
role that women play in these movements.
As noted in the introductory chapter, there are many scientific publications on the
gender dimensions of radical mobilization of rights. However, this led to the creation of a false
dichotomy, which, claims that people are more likely to support radical law if they are men, and
to a lesser extent if they are women. This strengthened the idea that women are generally not
interested in politics and are less inclined to support radical law, especially because of a
number of gender sociocultural indicators, such as religiosity and support for feminism. The
authors claim that there is evidence that this “gender gap” is closing, with radical right-wing
groups actually integrating the principles of gender equality and apparently encompassing the
LGBT Community. The “increased visibility of women” in radical law also suggests that related
group ideologies are “included” in attempts to reach a wider and more accessible audience.
The research that seemed informative to me is the third chapter describing Latvian
National Front (LNF). Nowadays in Latvia there is an increase in the number of women joining

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the radical right, like in many other countries and nations. This mobilization happens due to the
gender issues, and the Latvian example proves that women join to the radical right by related
reasons such as, for example, the socio-cultural influence of esotericism
1
and the views of
Nicholas Roerich
2
.
For many decades Latvia was trying to get rid of communism and the radical right could
make the territory a force contrast to communism, though, as Stasulane claims, it does not
enjoy broad public support in Latvia today. However, Latvia is still a ‘vivid example’ of how the
active involvement of women in the radical right has the opportunity to change the gender
structure of movements. This is thanks to, partly, to the influence of esotericism on the LNF.
Interestingly, the LNF is perhaps the only radical right group where women take ‘hierarchically
leading’ positions.
The next paper I would like to focus on is the article in “The Guardian” by Cynthia Miller-
Idriss and Hilary Pilkington “Women are joining the far right – we need to understand why”. I
have chosen article of the same authors who wrote the book that I described because they are
well-known specialists in the issue that I am considering and I find their views and opinions
broad and critical enough.
The first reason, according to the article, why more and more women are joining the far
right is “far-right ideas and aesthetics have become more mainstream”. That’s why more
women started to share their views and became involved in radical right parties. As a result, a
social research in seven European countries “showed that more than 40% of votes for the
populist radical right come from women. Women are more visibly active in radical-right
movements than ever before.”
The second reason is that new radical right parties insist on adding to western
democratic traditions support for women’s rights, a wider range of sexualities, and tolerance
toward the LGBT community. Traditionally such parties argued on traditional values, where a
woman must be a wife and a mother in a patriarchal family and perform according
responsibilities. Before, radical right parties did not support same-sex marriages and other
similar values that they do today.
1
LNF women claim that they are ‘spiritually superior’ to men, presenting themselves as ‘daughters of the
Great Mother of the world’
2
The mystical teachings of Roerich insisted on ‘the restoration of the lost balance between the masculine
and feminine’. Women could fulfil their theosophical responsibility by giving birth, and by being ‘a man’s
inspirer and companion’. In general, women are ‘subordinate’ to men in politics and business.

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Radical Right Parties and the Gender Issue Anna Sergeenkova Modern political reality, obscured by popular feminist rhetoric, is characterized by the fact that voters' problems go beyond the boundaries of gender dividing lines and are often determined by a wider range of socio-economic differences. Women vote for radical right parties not only to solve women's issues, but also because of problems and hopes common with men of their national community or social class, signaling us about the current lack of political projects, which are based on a construct exclusively of female interests. In this paper I am going to discuss such problematic issues that are based on a gender dimension - for example, the feminization of some low-paying areas of activity or the care and supervision work that falls on women's shoulders - however, such issues are not limited only by the gender dimension. The first paper that I would like to consider while discussing the problem of the radical right political parties and the gender issue is a book “Gender and the Radical and Extreme Right: Mechanisms of Transmission and the Role of Educational Interventions”, edited by Cynthia Miller-Idriss and Hilary Pilkington. It is written by several authors to offer various points of view on an issue that is often ignored nowadays: connection of the radical and extreme right, education and gender. This book contributes to a better understanding of the role that women play in these movements. As noted in the i ...
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