The rise of women in Europe’s right-wing movements

by Sydney Linholm

In the article by Angelique Chrisafis, Kate Connolly, and Angela Giuffrida, an investigative look is taken at why right-wing populist parties have begun to attract more and more women. The authors focus on how the surge in right-wing populism seen in Europe over the last twenty years has largely been male-dominated, and how this is now changing because of an increase in women that support these parties. Many right-wing European political parties are led by women, with examples being Marine Le Pen, Alice Weidel, and Giorgia Meloni. But why are women becoming more drawn to supporting parties that do not traditionally support feminism and embody patriarchal ideologies?

As the authors hypothesize, one of the explanations for the supporting of right-wing populist parties could be their belonging to marginalized groups in society such as the working class. They use the disillusioned retail staff and grocery store employees as an example, as one of them interviewed in the article details how the elite in power does nothing to support those who can’t make ends meet. Interestingly, she says” We’ve never tried Le Pen before, so why not give her a chance?”

As is pointed out later in the article, it is ironic how far-right movements are allowing women to have a louder voice yet their attitudes towards women have not changed. For example, the AfD’s gender ratio is 87% male and 13% female, yet female voters still firmly believe that they are a better alternative to the current elite in power because they feel as though the right-wing movements are worth a shot in order to improve the lives of the women who belong to marginalized groups. What doesn’t make sense is the notion that a right-wing populist political party that doesn’t even support the women within its party would support women outside of it, and this is the irony of the entire movement.

One Reply to “The rise of women in Europe’s right-wing movements”

  1. Hey Sydney! I like the question you pose in your blog regarding why women support ideologies that seemingly oppose feminism. I also found it ironic how far-right movements capitalize off of women’s participation even if they dismiss women or women’s issues in general. However, every state and movement has capitalized off women (whether formally, such as the role of a secretary, or informally, such as the role of a mother) without achieving gender parity. Perhaps some women are growing tired of the status quo under a liberal democracy and seek to exploit opportunities on the far-right. I am curious to see the disaggregated data on women supporters of far-right movements, as this will indicate a better picture of what type of women support these movements (by race, sexuality, religion, etc.).

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