This book aims to offer the reader a study of grassroots women’s organizations as they existed and functioned in Russian society in the first half of the 1990s. The arguments presented here are founded primarily on the findings of qualitative research carried out in the period August 1995–February 1996 in four Russian centres: Moscow, Saratov, Tver’ and Tarusa, a small, provincial town in Kaluga Region. The work must, therefore, be seen and understood within that particular framework of time and place. Beginning almost four years after the end of the Soviet Union, this was a period in which, although Russia’s social and economic reforms could not be said to have ended, the initial turmoil and uncertainty of earlier years had been replaced with a certain resignation and often uncomfortable adaptation to post-Soviet conditions. Both as individuals and as members of grassroots women’s organizations, the women of the research sample had been forced to come to terms with many changes, some of which they welcomed, others of which caused them considerable difficulty and in some cases material and financial hardship. By 1995, however, most had been able to develop strategies for survival which, whilst they might be viewed as neither desirable nor comfortable, had, at least, been successful in securing their continued existence as well as that of their families and of their organizations.
KeywordsGender Relation Financial Hardship Russian Society Umbrella Organization Political Rhetoric
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