Gender Equality as ‘Political Indoctrination’ : A case study on Brazil’s turn towards conservative university policies
Sammanfattning: ‘Gender ideology’ is a term used by radical conservative congregations to contemn issues around gender, such as reproductive rights and gender studies, for it is seen as a conspiracy against traditional family values. Congregations that use the term also embrace other forms of anti-gender rhetoric as they aspire to influence decision-makers to adopt policies against gender matters, for instance same-sex marriages and transgender rights. As the discussion of ‘gender ideology’ is spread, campaigns against gender matters evolves. The campaigns are often focusing on whether gender should be discussed within, and be a part of, the education. It is a threat for the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, which indeed focus on gender equality and quality education. The campaigns are seen all over the world but have become especially successful within South America. In Brazil, the campaign Escola sem Partido, has created a movement against gender and political indoctrination, where the term gender has become a central dispute for what is considered legitimate knowledge. This thesis aims to investigate, through a critical discourse analysis of ‘testimonies’ from Escola sem Partido’s website and through collecting interviews with professors and students at a university in Brazil, the conflict about gender equality. Since the term gender has become a central term of dispute within the discussion of ‘political indoctrination’ at a high level of education. The result of this thesis shows that the perception of gender reflects the perception of one’s education. The view on what is experienced legitimate knowledge determines whether professors are experienced as political or not. It is found within the ‘testimonies’ that professors personal agenda steers the education to involve gender matters when it should not, as gender matters are viewed as political. Moreover, that professors use their classes to systematically instill ideas and attitudes into their students minds. In opposition to this perception, it was found within the interviews that gender matters should be addressed in school. Universities role of promoting tolerance, and the value of engaged professors who allows critical thinking of societal issues, are two important factors for fighting prejudices against minorities, gender and varieties of sexualities and development for gender equality.
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