Date Part A
Quote:“Asstate socialism unraveled andRussia opened tothe rest of the world, Russian womenactivists were able to connect with foreignactivists and groups for the first time” (Hemment 2).
Thisquote summarizes the understanding that Hemment had in regard to thecontext of women`s issues in Russia. The book focuses on exploringthe relationship between women in Russia and foreign feministactivists and organization in regard to the rights of women inRussia. The success of the intervention of foreign bodies in theproblems of the Russian women will be based on how they understandthe context of the country and adopt appropriate approaches.According to Hemment, it is important to understand the phases thatwomen activism has undergone since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Chaptertwo Quote: “Whilewomen asa group weremarginalized and impoverished by market reforms,and at the same time as feminist ideas were metwith popular hostility, some feministscholars were propelled into a new and intimate relationship with thestate” (Hemment 78).
Thisquote summarizes the developments that took place in the country whenRussia was opening up to the world. The understanding of the changeswould make women rights groups and activists adopt the bestapproaches of tackling the problems of women. Particularly, foreignaid organizations should understand that the country had both themarginalized and the elite empowered women who were in touch with thegovernment.
Atthe same time, democratic space had grown in the country. In thecontext of the pro-socialist the civil society emerged as a powerfulelement in the country by expressing opinion. This gave women rightsgroups an environment for development of their voice in the society.Therefore, foreign aid groups should adopt participative methods thatempower the local women to spearhead their fight for their rights.
Ravnopravikiare activists who advocate for equal rights in the society andbetween the two genders. Particularly, the ravnopraviki activistsfight for the rights of equal rights between men and women in thespheres of governance, social life and economic empowerment.According to Hemment, the ravnopraviki have mostly been mostly theeducated who could communicate with the women in the foreigncountries such as Western Europe and America. The empowerment of theravnopraviki developed from their exposure to the same literature,conferences and education that the elite women rights activists inforeign countries had.
Theinteraction between international women rights groups and the womenin Russia was therefore supposed to be based on the approaches thatincorporate the ravnopraviki. Using the ravnopraviki in the processwill make the fight for women`s rights in Russia a more expansive andrelevant thing in the civil society. More importantly, Hemmentoutlines the importance of understanding the work of ravnopraviki inpromoting a cordial and productive relationship between theinternational women rights groups and the local Russian womensocieties.
Hemmentcites the work of Fals-Bordaand Rahmanin the understanding of the local environment as a reason for herparticipatory action research (PAR) approach. According to Fals-Bordaand Rahman(16), PAR gives the best chance of understanding local people sinceit tells about them from their historical context. Hemmentuses PAR to understand the agenda of the ravnopraviki. As a result,Hemment understands the work of the ravnopraviki in the fight forwomen rights in Russia as well as the empowerment of women. In thisregard, the ravnopraviki serve as the interventionists that enablethe work of foreign women rights foundations more relevant to theRussian context.
Fals-Borda,Orlando, & Rahman,Muhammad. Actionand knowledge: breaking the monopoly with participatory actionresearch.Lanham: Apex Press, 1991, Print
Hemment,Julie. EmpoweringWomen in Russia. Activism, Aid and NGOs.Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2007, Print