Gender, Right-Wing Populism and Family Policy Discourses in Hungary and in Poland

The main goal of this paper is to analyse the recent reforms and discourses about gender roles as produced by the right-wing populist governments in Hungary and Poland. In the context of a rapid demographic decline that took place in almost all East European Countries, women started to be predominantly perceived through their reproductive functions. In Hungary, pro-natalist policies favouring cash transfers were intensified under the slogans of ‘demographic revolution of the middle class’, with blaming women for falling fertility rates. In Poland, aligned with the Catholic Church, the new government has openly attacked the notion of gender, assisted the introduction of an almost complete abortion ban, at the same time investing heavily in family policies. My argument is that these developments can be interpreted as re-building and strengthening national identities. For grasping the argument analytically, I am using Yuval-Davis’s framework of gendered nationalism.