‘Once You Say the Word Gender, People Become Afraid’: The Consequences of the Gender Backlash in Education in Brasil


Conservative religious, activist and political groups fuel gender backlash in many spaces. This paper explores this phenomenon and its effects on educational programs designed to prevent gender-based violence in Brasilian schools. It argues that this gender backlash in educative spaces violates fundamental rights, like the right to equality and protection against discrimination and violence, and ultimately contributes to the continuity and escalation of gender-based violence in Brasil. This context shapes advocacy work and the facilitators and participants of its programs. Primary prevention research is mainly conducted in the Global North. This article, guided by a southern feminist framework and informed by 14 interviews with Brasilian advocates engaged in youth gender-based violence prevention programs, addresses a significant knowledge deficit and offers new insights in working in challenging contexts. It suggests that the backlash is mostly directed at LGBTIQA+ cohorts due to the ongoing political attacks on these groups, but it has also undermined the capacity of educational prevention strategies for gender-based violence more widely.

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Published: 2021-12-01
Pages:223 to 238
Section:Special Issue: Policing and Preventing Gender Violence in the Global South
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How to Cite
Lopes Gomes Pinto Ferreira, G. . (2021) “‘Once You Say the Word Gender, People Become Afraid’: The Consequences of the Gender Backlash in Education in Brasil”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(4), pp. 223-238. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.2074.

Author Biography

Queensland University of Technology

Gisella Lopes Gomes Pinto Ferreira is currently a PhD candidate at Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She holds an MPhil in Justice from QUT and LLB from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil. Her research explores the prevention of gendered violence in youth cohorts in Brazil and Australia, adopting a southern criminology lens, critical feminist perspective.