Eastern Europe


It should be noted that to analyze the situation of women’s rights organizations in the post-Soviet space, it is necessary to take into account at least three factors. First, there are general parameters related to the rejection and disapproval of the feminist organizations activity, which model purely foreign experience. This causes the lack of mass support of the population and, on the other hand, is interpreted by the authorities as a policy of interference in the internal affairs of the country, contrary to national customs and traditions in the field of “unwritten law”, and often in the existing legislation.
Secondly, “women’s” organizations, which retained the basic principles of Soviet period activity, taking into account the political regime and the political situation in the CIS countries, are firmly entrenched in the structure of public administration of the post-Soviet states. Thirdly, there is a clear differentiation in the position of organizations that protect the rights of women in the post-Soviet area.
Since the third aspect is of practical interest, the CIS countries, in relation to these organizations can be divided into three groups. The first is conditionally “liberal” and is characterized by the activity of women’s rights organizations, but their activities are virtually indistinguishable from the activities of human rights organizations, which range from 11% in Armenia to 37% in Russia of the NPO spectrum. It should be emphasized that the laws of Russia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are “soft” in relation to the activities of these organizations. If we talk about “repressions,” they are expressed in the refusal of infrastructure registration, the position of “evading contacts” by the representatives of regional and local administration. It can also be stated that activists of these organizations can be subjected to the procedure of dismissal from work. In general, “repressions” are selective and are mainly stimulated by the participation of these organizations representatives in actions of non-systemic opposition, or by “deformation” of the country’s image regarding the status of women and the protection of their rights.
The second group is “authoritarian”, which includes Azerbaijan, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, and which are characterized by the policy of pressure on these organizations with thу aim of their transition to cooperation with the authorities, the rejection of “unpatriotic” rhetoric and focus on private problems that do not threaten the authoritarian power structure.
This group is united by the absence of a consistent repressive policy in relation to these organizations, but it is about the position of the authorities on the principle of “not allowing and not resolving”. The activity of these organizations undergoes severe constant monitoring, and in relation to “undesirable” activists there is a policy of migration encouragement, or the imposition of “criminal offenses”. It can be concluded that “repression” is based on the non-acceptance of these groups as having a negative impact not on the political situation in the country as a whole, but on young and intelligent people that can demonstrate protest moods.
The third group is “totalitarian”, it includes Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, where the activities of these organizations are prohibited at the legislative level, or allowed as a “demonstration of democracy”, but practically paralyzed because of the “illegal status” and therefore the possibility prosecution. Secondly, the active intervention of security structures, which results in the creation of “public intolerance”atmosphere. In the conditions of the preserved patriarchal environment, activists of these organizations can simply be turned off not only from public, but also from their family ties. There are examples of psychological impact, unauthorized detention, “disappearance”. It can be concluded that the activities of these organizations are “nipped in the bud”, repressive sanctions against 80-100 activists were taken for anti-state activities in these countries.

Thus, although the principles of democracy and openness in relation to these organizations are not observed in the analyzed post-Soviet space, it would be wrong to speak of a unified repressive policy.

Bogdan Nevejev

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