Europe’s Futures Fellow 2021/22


Photo description
© Davor Konjikušić
Coda Story
The Rise of Ultra-Conservatism in Central Europe and the Decline of Women’s Reproductive Rights

Much attention has been paid to the alarming statistics on population decline in Central Europe and the fears these numbers have provoked. Somewhat missing from the conversation is the impact of population decline on women. Pro-natalist policies in Poland and Hungary are an attempt to not only boost the population but ‘reinstate’ traditional family values that keep women in the home. Although the reasons for shrinking numbers are manyfold, illiberal governments cast much of the blame on women. This project examines how far these policies could go and investigates the movements trying to push back.

Amanda Coakley is a journalist and producer working in broadcast, print, and radio, covering Central and Eastern Europe. Her work has appeared in Foreign Policy, TIME, The Irish Times, The Independent, New Humanist, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, and Politico Europe. She has worked as a senior staff reporter at Coda Story and a producer at Channel 4 News in London. She was awarded the Coronavirus Journalism Excellence prize by Press Gazette in July 2020. Prior to this she was a writer on Christiane Amanpour’s prime time program at CNN International. In 2021, she was selected as one of the 30 To Watch: Young Journalist Awards in the field of international affairs. Prior to her career in journalism, she was a publisher at Penguin Random House. Her reporting has earned her the Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award, an MHP International Affairs Reporting Award, and an Emmy nomination.