Austrian government cuts funds for equal rights

The Austrian Ministry of Women's Affairs recently cancelled subsidies for various women's projects. In an interview with Der Standard, a Viennese political scientist explains the possible ramifications of this decision.

Roxane Seckauer
Roxane Seckauer Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Austrian government cuts funds for equal rights - NewsMavens
Pixabay. Purse with money

Why this story matters:

Birgit Sauer, political scientist at the University of Vienna, is not surprised that the right-wing conservative government is implementing cuts at such a pace.

Women and gender issues have great symbolic significance when it comes to the interpretation of a society's values.

The Freedom Party (FPÖ) consistently links gender issues with its so-called "value structure" of heteronormativity and traditional family model. Feminism, and all projects dedicated to gender equality, jeopardize this view, hence the cut in subsidies, explains Sauer.

The political scientist believes much will be lost if gender equality projects are discontinued. Through magazines, courses, educational work, they provided food for thought, and a platform to imagine new family models.

Details from the story:

  • In addition to cutting funding for feminist, cultural and educational work, the turquoise-blue coalition (ÖVP and FPÖ) is also attacking projects aimed at helping migrants, according to political scientist Birgit Sauer.
  • The right-wing conservative government had started to reduce funding earlier in some regions: the extensive budget cuts were implemented in Upper Austria at the beginning of the year.
  • Birgit Sauer, born in 1957, is a professor of political science at the University of Vienna since 2001. Her primary research focus is gender and politics.
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