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Tag: Women’s rights

Female drug addicts in Volhynia – vulnerable and exposed

In Volhynia, women experience more stigma regarding substance abuse than men.

June 24, 2021 - Iryna Musii

You’ll never walk alone

The changes in Poland’s abortion law were set in motion by PiS and the judges that it installed. Where the debate ends on this matter will be up to a new generation of Polish women.

March 12, 2021 - Małgorzata Kopka-Piątek

An unambiguous legacy. Women and Solidarity

During the 1980s, I witnessed the momentous events in Poland from afar and worked with human rights groups to lend support to pro-democracy activists. By 1988, I prepared for my first research visit to Poland to examine Solidarity’s gender dynamics. What stood out was that Solidarity was a democratic movement that did not advocate gender equality.

In mid-November of 2020 I participated in a roundtable at the annual conference of the Association of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) on the theme, “Polish Solidarity: A Glorious Revolution and its Unexpectedly Tortuous Aftermath.” Joining me virtually were Timothy Garton Ash, Ireneusz Krzeminski, Jan Kubik, and David Ost. We were to reflect on the trajectory of this once enormous social movement in the post-communist reality. I, in particular, was invited to reflect on my work initiated by Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland, which I had published in 2005 and again in 2014. By the time of the academic roundtable, the world was riveted on the third, exhilarating week of wildly audacious, feminist-initiated, grassroots nationwide demonstrations across Poland in support of reproductive rights, democratic rule of law and separation of state and church. The euphoria of revolution was palpable.

February 3, 2021 - Shana Penn

The shame of Dagestan

Women’s rights is probably the most controversial topic in Dagestan, Russian’s North Caucasus republic. Svetlana Anokhina, a women’s rights activist and journalist, who had fled the republic after receiving a death threat, now carries on with her work from far away.

In July 2020 Svetlana Anokhnina a women’s rights activist and journalist based in Dagestan, received a telephone death threat as part of a wider “sorting out the feminists” campaign taking place in the republic. This was not the first threat issued to Svetlana but, unlike before, this time the caller tried to reach her by phone several times, making sure she received his message. And he took no effort to hide his own identification. Svetlana tracked the cell phone number and established the name of its owner. She passed this information to the police. After the investigation had been completed, Svetlana hoped that justice would be fast. Yet, soon after the detective set a meeting with the caller, the local police abruptly stopped providing updates on her case.

February 3, 2021 - Anna Efimova

The crest and break of Estonia’s pink wave

The elections to Estonia's Riigikogu wrapped up an unprecedented few months for the political representation of women in the country. The aftermath proved there is still a long road ahead.

April 23, 2019 - Anna Blue

Women’s rights in imperial Russia. Outcasts of history

The thaw of the 1980s allowed Russian historians to become re-acquainted with the pre-revolutionary and non-Marxist methods of interpreting historical events. These approaches paved a new way for interpreting history, allowing a departure from merely descriptive methods. Since the 1990s a new understanding of women’s rights in pre-Bolshevik Russia began to emerge.

I grew up listening to Soviet propaganda, praising the regime for giving women so much: education, ability to have a career and money on par with men, benefits for mothers, divorce and so on. To a certain extent, reality was confirming the party message. Women worked as teachers, doctors, and engineers. Valentina Tereshkova even went to space. Would something like this be possible during the tsarist rule? No, of course not. That is why our history textbooks presented life in pre-revolutionary Russia as full of suffering and exploitation, accompanied by rebellions and wars. Then the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution came, which changed Russia and the world, or at least that is what we were taught.

January 2, 2019 - Irina Yukina

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