Cultural Categories of Worth and Polish Gender Policy in the Context of EU Accession
- Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society
- Oxford University Press
- Volume 18, Number 4, Winter 2011
- pp. 490-514
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Why did Poland pursue policies that retraditionalized the gender regime during the preaccession period (1997-2004), particularly at a time when the European Union (EU) had the greatest power to promote its gender equality agenda? I argue that opposition to the EU's gender equality agenda is a new chapter in the backlash against socialist-era gender policy. The reinscription of women workers as a privileged category of social assistance over mothers at the core of the EU agenda led Polish policy-makers to develop policies promoting mothers rather than women workers as the socially worthy category of protection. Such outcomes point to the ongoing salience of an antisocialist ideological backlash to the future of gender equality legislation, and fundamentally call into question the transformative power of Europe when it comes to gender regimes.