Feminist activism in Austria – and its way to escape a spiral of silencing and inner exile
Keywords:inner exile, gender equality, participatory action research, self-reflexive, silence, feminism
Recent political developments in European countries indicate a shift to the political right and an increase in attacks on gender equality. This political change has also started to influence scholarly work and teaching of equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) topics in Austria and has led to its re-contextualization by pinpointing the rising counter forces to EDI issues. This text fills a knowledge gap on the EDI counter forces and the experiences of EDI experts and researchers by exploring their increasing silence in these times of change to the right. Based on a participatory action research project, the paper shows that a (self-)reflection on silence opens a demand for recollecting in ‘safe spaces.’ The paper demonstrates that these spaces do not only allow a reflection on how to overcome a double fault line triggered by losing previous EDI supporters and a newly invigorated gender equality opposition. These spaces also give support in escaping the spiral of silence and inner exile. The text discusses strategies addressed in these safe spaces to counter a retraction of existing gender equality policies.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work three months after publication simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. This acknowledgement is not automatic, it should be asked from the editors and can usually be obtained one year after its first publication in the journal.