Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to you as President of the British Sociological Association. Alongside other major academic organizations from across Europe, we wish to express our deep concern at the news that 'Gender Studies' is to be banned by your government from Universities in Hungary.
Whilst we understand that such action is legal within Hungarian law it is nevertheless very difficult to understand why your government would take such a step. The modern autonomy of higher education in Europe is well established and it is very surprising that Hungary would wish to stand alone against this. Furthermore, the proposed ban appears to be an unprecedented attempt to undermine all Social Science, since it is impossible to understand modern society without knowledge of gender divisions. Gender studies provides the tools to understand some of the most profound and persistent inequalities in modern society and builds our capacity to address these in the interests of a future that is fair and vibrant for all.
I sincerely hope that the Hungarian government will reconsider this recommendation and take every action to ensure that Universities in Hungary can continue to make their much valued contribution to understanding modern society along with other countries in Europe.
With kind regards
Professor Susan Halford (FAcSS, FRSA)
President of the British Sociological Association