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New Horizon 2022 project G-EPIC Gender Empowerment through Politics in Classrooms

Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2022 Framework Programme, the research project is designed to support the development of political self-confidence of girls. At JLU, the project is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Simone Abendschön.

The gender gap in political leadership, political ambition and political self-efficacy is the most persistent and most difficult to tackle across Western democracies, yet ensuring the future of democracy requires empowering all social group to engage.

Starting on the 1st February 2023, ‘Gender Empowerment through Politics in Classrooms (G-EPIC) is a 36-month, 3 million research project led by first class European academics in political science, sociology, gender studies, youth studies, and educational sciences, from Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Spain and United Kingdom. It is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2022 Framework Programme and is designed to support the development of political self-confidence of girls who are experiencing multiple forms of disadvantage.

Research shows that the 11-16 age period is when young people start forming their political attitudes and the same period is also when the gender gap in confidence to get involved in politics grows. According to recent findings, schools provide the milieu for reinforcing this gap through the experience of classroom discussions.

G-EPIC will begin by establishing the state of play through classroom observations and reanalysis of existing quantitative data to understand how inequalities in attitudes and dispositions towards political engagement are learnt. G-EPIC will then create experiments in schools and pilot design-based interventions co-developed with civil-society, teachers and students. These experiments and interventions will be rigorously evaluated in comparisons with control groups and will lead to the development of the Gender Empowerment in Classroom intervention .G-EPIC will also carry out an evaluation of the national context and the local and European policy framework to design strategies, regulations and policies that are conducive to a more equitable gender political involvement, particularly of girls with a disadvantaged background. The toolbox generated during the project will become an international reference of best practice to foster gender equity in politics from the classroom onwards boosting more girls to get involved in politics when they reach adulthood. It will be disseminated and delivered in schools across Europe creating the possibility for real change and the reduction of gender inequalities in political leadership.


For more information, please, contact:

Prof. Dr. Simone Abendschön
Professur für Politikwissenschaft mit dem Schwerpunkt Methoden der Politikwissenschaft unter Berücksichtigung der Demokratie- und politischen Sozialisationsforschung