Understanding the Rise of Anti-Gender Discourses in the Context of Development, Human Rights and Social Protection

 This working paper interrogates the ways anti-gender, or “pro-family”, actors and organizations are using the frameworks and language of “development” to advance arguments and policies that restrict the rights of LGBTIQ+ people and seek to limit how sexual and reproductive health and rights are understood. Backed by transnational support and funding, these actors and organizations are deploying an increasingly sophisticated narrative repertoire and using mainstream knowledge validation tools to disseminate anti-gender messages in a range of global development spaces, including the UN system. These developments render anti-gender messaging harder to refute and call for research-based feminist and queer-inclusive visions of gender equality and women’s rights, considering several critical dimensions outlined in this working paper.