UNTWIST looks forward to contributing to the construction of a renewed democratic society in which the heterogeneous gender needs, demands and worries of the public are all addressed by different parties in democratic ways. Therefore, in our Vision, right-wing populist actors, and their anti-gender messages, are less appealing to citizens because other parties offer alternative ways, respectful and aligned with EU’s values, of representing the heterogeneous gender needs, demands and worries of citizens.


UNTWIST’s primary strategy to reach its Vision is facilitating political actors, particularly parties, “untwisted” ways of representing gender needs, demands and worries. This will be done through a policy recommendation handbook with evidence-based policy recommendations. To develop the policy recommendation handbook, UNTWIST will produce robust empirical evidence testing our assumptions and hypotheses regarding the factors that make the anti-gender messages of right-wing populist actors attractive to voters.


Human beings are highly heterogeneous. Citizens have different needs, demands and worries related to their gender and sex, which are diverse across social classes, ethnicities, ages, etc. All of them are legitimate and deserve to be adequately addressed by political representatives. However, mainstream parties have disregarded some, and radical/populist actors (right-wing populist actors mainly) are twisting their responses contrary to the EU’s core values. UNTWIST will find ways to answer needs, demands, and worries related to gender and sex in untwisted ways aligned with the EU’s core values. Furthermore, UNTWIST will empower parties to improve their representation of the gender-based interests of the citizenry through the definition, enhancement and transfer of a policy recommendation handbook with evidence-based policy recommendations.

UNTWIST (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/101060836) is a Research and Innovation Project financed under the Horizon Europe scheme:
HORIZON.2.2 – Culture, creativity and inclusive society Main Programme. Topic(s): HORIZON-CL2-2021-DEMOCRACY-01-03 – Feminisms for a new age of Democracy


UNTWIST has four main objectives:

  1. First, to test the hypothesis that mainstream parties are not representing a large set of gender and feminism-related worries, needs and demands. This finding will support the idea that right-wing populist actors act as niche parties in this area. And, more generally, this provides some initial support for the notion that voters could be brought back to mainstream parties by improving gender representation.
  2. Second, to test the importance of gender attitudes on voting behaviour. This will allow us to identify the profile of citizens who could be better represented. Furthermore, it will also point us towards the more critical areas of gender representation that must be addressed.
  3. Third, to find untwisted ways to represent gender needs and demands and answer gender worries, turning them into political recommendations.
  4. Fourth, to involve political actors, mainly political parties, in implementing UNTWIST’s policy recommendations.


UNTWIST project is composed of a consortium of 9 partners (seven universities, one research institute, one association and one foundation). The consortium has been set up to ensure the well-balanced participation of academic partners from different geographical areas, and guarantee the representation of the heterogenous political, social, economic, and demographic contexts that might be relevant for our findings and that need to be considered in our policy recommendations. The project will be carried out in a set of countries that include representatives of different regional areas, with different socio-demographic characteristics and political configurations. UNTWIST focuses on six European countries that we take as “representative” of those regions: Spain (South), UK (Western), Germany and Switzerland (Central), Hungary (East), and Denmark (North), all of them with relevant right-wing populist actors. The consortium integrates political science, sociology, and gender studies specialists in a complementary manner, with significant expertise in gender from different perspectives. Among the consortium partners, expertise on gender analysis, mixed methods, as well as quantitative and qualitative methods, guarantee that we have the relevant knowledge for the different work packages.