Through in-depth interviews with activists, the authors provide a broad and thorough introduction to the emerging women's movement and women's organizations in Russia. The focus is on the development of women's activism in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russia and the challenges for activists in a time of resurgent nationalism and turmoil over democratic reform. Linda Racioppi and Katherine O'Sullivan See present a concise history of women's situation in tsarist Soviet Russia, which shows how their ability to organize was constrained by social strictures and state policies. They also analyze how the state-sponsored Soviet Women's Committee and new groups like the Independent Women's Forum, the Women's League, and the International Institute for Entrepreneurial Development responded to the challenges and opportunities of the transition. The authors examine the dynamics among these groups as well. The personal life histories of the activists reflect the ways women have responded to the changing political, economic, and social landscape in the former Soviet Union.
Linda Racioppi and Katherine O'Sullivan See teach at James Madison College, Michigan State University. Racioppi is the author of Soviet Policy towards South Asia since 1970, and See is the author of First World Nationalisms: Class and Ethnic Politics in Northern Ireland and Quebec.
Preface 1. Introduction 2. Women`s Activism in Historical Context Tsarist Autocracy and Constraints on Women's Activism * The Soviet Order * Elvira Novikova 3. Three Women and the Transition Economic and Political Transformations * Women and the Economy * Women and Political Voice * Organizing Women as Politics * Alternative "Emancipations" * Natalia Belokopytova * The State and Ideological Emancipation 4. The Union of Women of Russia and Alevtina Fedulova The Soviet Women's Committee * The Committee and the Transition * Alevtina Fedulova 5. The Zhensovety and Ol'ga Bessolova Zhensovety * Ol'ga Bessolova 6. The Center for Gender Studies, the Independent Women's Forum, and Anastasia Posadskaya * The Center for Gender Studies * Anastasia Posadskaya 7. The Women's League, Gaia, and Elena Ershova The Women's League * Gaia * Elena Ershova 8. Business and Economic Development Organizations The Transition and Economic Organizing * Conversion and Women and Eleanora Ivanova * The Association of Small Towns and Tatiana Tsertsvadze * The International Institute for Entrepreneurial Development and Leah Lerner * Economic Organizations and the Women's Movement 9. Interpreting Russian Women's Activism Activists' Lives in Historical Context * Analyzing the Women`s Movement Appendix A Registered Women's Organizations in Russia Appendix B Open Letter to American Women Issued on Behalf of the Congress of Soviet Women, July 1993 Notes Interviews with Portrayed Activists Works Cited Index