Gender Equality Working Group

The European Union has maintained a policy of “gender mainstreaming” – planning to implement a gender perspective in all policy areas – since 1996. Despite aiming to understand and tackle inequalities between genders, the EU still scores just 67.9 points out of 100 on the Gender Equality Index and the journey towards gender equality is increasingly complex, uneven, and nonlinear. Similarly, individual states across Europe struggle to tackle a diverse range of gender equality policy issues including gender-based violence, abortion and female-led migration. 

There has recently been a backlash against aspects of gender equality in Europe, and issues surrounding gender equality have been increasingly politicised. Tensions are increasingly apparent as liberal “European values” or the gender equalising goals clash with traditional systems and ideals across Europe. Backlash has been uneven with European states moving in dramatically different directions on gender equalising issues.

European states and the European Union are also international actors, exporting their goals and attitudes on gender equality to other regions and states. Their actions and agendas, both internal and external, intentional and unintentional, have global effects on gender equality.

The EST Working Group on Gender Equality believes in the goal of gender equality. It therefore aims to understand where and how Europe has failed to deliver gender equality and to find solutions and strategies to further gender equality.

Head of the Working Group – Martina Rubino

Martina Rubino holds a Bachelor’s in International Relations and Diplomatic Affairs (University of Bologna) and a Master’s in European Studies (Institut d’études européennes, Brussels). She has a varied international background, having studied and worked in Italy, Czechia, Estonia, France and Belgium. She works mainly on advocacy, events organisation and research. She was first Events and Advocacy Trainee and then Activities Coordinator at the ECIT Foundation, a think-tank centred on European citizenship. She has been President of the association and magazine Eyes on Europe, a partner of EST. She founded the project “No Tampon Tax Italia”. Her main focuses are on civil and political rights, youth participation in European politics, and gender equality, in particular sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Paula Gonzalo – Deputy Head

Paula Gonzalo is the current Deputy Head of the Gender Equality Working Group. She holds a Bachelor’s degree on Global Studies from the University of Salamanca, with a focused emphasis on LGBTQI youth and gender studies. Her thesis, awarded with honors for outstanding achievement, was based on a statistical analysis of the factors behind negative attitudes towards trans women in Spain. Paula has worked as a Talent Development assistant at the OSCE Secretariat. She has coordinated several Erasmus+ projects and her research interests encompass youth work, sustainability and accessibility in non-formal education. She looks forward to continuing researching on international development and cooperation, human rights and gender-based violence.

Anna Hackett

As well as being a member of the Working Group on Gender Equality, Anna has spent the last year working as the assistant editor at Notes from Poland, the leading independent English-language news source for Polish matters. She is an incoming Robert Schuman trainee at the European Parliament’s Liaison Office in Dublin beginning this autumn. Anna holds a B.A. in European Studies from Trinity College Dublin, having also completed a year abroad at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain. Her thesis examined the portrayal of the sexist stereotype of ‘la sueca’ in late-Francoist cinema. During her time at the WG she wrote and produced numerous articles and infographics on topics such as abortion, sex education and gender-based violence.

Maren Wilmes

Maren Wilmes is doing her master’s in international studies at ISCTE in Lisbon and is currently based in Maputo, where she is doing an exchange at Eduardo Mondlane University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Economics from Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg and graduated with a thesis on Brazilian women’s experiences of sexualisation in Portugal. Since then, she has been researching many topics from a gender perspective and is particularly interested in development, peace and security, postcolonialism as well as alternative concepts in international relations, such as Feminist Foreign Policy. She has also lived in South America for some time and gained professional experience in the fields of political education and cultural management alongside her studies.

Alma Gamper Saez

Alma graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the Alianza 4 Universidades (UPF-UAB-UC3M-UAM). She has also studied abroad at Sciences Po Paris and the University of California, Los Angeles. At Sciences Po, Alma collaborated in a project examining the presence of underrepresented groups in European Parliaments. She has also researched the relationship between feminism and the criminal justice system from an intersectional perspective, which was the subject of her Bachelor’s thesis. Other topics of her interest include critical urban theory and cultural studies. Outside academia, Alma enjoys participating in and organizing cultural and academic events, which she has done during the past year as part of the events team of Time Is Up, UPF’s intersectional feminist organization. She is looking forward to researching issues such as the definition and legislation of consent and sexual freedom, differences in access to reproductive rights, and discourses and policies around balancing work and family life.

Karolyn Moore

Karolyn holds a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of Vermont and is working towards a dual-degree M.A. in International Relations and Public Diplomacy at Jagiellonian University and the University of Siena. She has worked in affordable housing, environmental preservation, and youth development with AmeriCorps NCCC, and also worked in COVID response in the US during the pandemic. Her main passions include the education and empowerment of girls, menstrual health, and reproductive rights. Her current research is in advancing women’s health through global health diplomacy.

Zoé Llacer

Zoé Llacer is a History Master’s student at Université Paris Cité. Her research revolves around the persistent portrayal of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) as the ‘other’ in Germany’s public history and its implications for women’s status enhancement initiatives. She intends to demonstrate how historical narratives can impact progress in gender equality, which she believes is crucial for shaping better policies. Interested in European governance, she aims to contribute to gender equality initiatives in Europe.