Hungary bans gender studies

The Orban government is pushing legislation that would prevent universities from offering gender studies on the grounds that the discipline produces undesirable graduates for the Hungarian job market.

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Why this story matters:

The official reason behing Fidesz's ban of gender studies is that the area is not "economically rational" and that resources would be best invested in other disciplines.

However, it is obvious to all who followed the ruling party's crackdown on Central European University -- not to mention nearly every opposition newspaper -- that Fidesz has embarked on a crusade against its ideological foes. 

With the universities shut down and most of the staff on holidays, it was nearly impossible for the academic world to organize an adequate response during the 24 hours they were given.

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Details from the story:

  • Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest (ELTE) is the only university that offers a Hungarian-language gender program. The ban would affect 11 students.
  • At Central European University (CEU), two students are enrolled in an English-language gender studies program.
  • Hungarian Free Press quoted Lorinc Nacsa, Orban's coalition partner, saying that gender studies are a "wasteful luxury" and "destructive".
  • Universities were given 24 hours to respond to the government's decision. 
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