This article sets out to provide a framework for thinking about the gendered nature of civil society. The first section looks at how civil society researchers, both past and present, have failed to provide any analysis of the gendered relations of civil society. This is not least because the family is posited as a residual boundary-marker for the purposes of clearing the analytic path for the investigation of statecivil society relations. Similarly, feminist researchers have not reworked civil society theories to explain the engendering of civil society, a key reason for this being that civil society is not an organizing category for analyzing gender relations. In the final section we propose a framework of analysis that uses a circuit of gender relations to trace the flow of gendered norms, values, and practices across the sites of the state, market, civil society, and the family.
This study examines the impact of feminist pressure and European Union (EU) policies on national policy changes, such as the introduction or extension of public childcare provision, parental leave, and part-time work legislation. We compared six countries on the basis of Qualitative Comparative Analysis and found that women’s political pressure, especially through national equality machinery, is a prerequisite for the emergence and extension of social-care policies. Sequence analysis showed that national machineries are crucial in translating EU measures into national policies.
European Union (EU) accession has been a highly ambivalent and contradictory process both for women’s mobilization and networking, and the introduction of gender equality policies in the new member states. While EU membership gave women’s NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe better access to EU institutions and EU funding, it also resulted in a loss of financial support from previous donors. Some, in general bigger, organizations benefited from these changes, whereas smaller groups now struggle. Furthermore, although accession offered women’s movements political opportunities to put pressure on their governments, the adaptation to EU regulations is characterized by top-down reforms and the unequal compliance of national governments.
This article examines how women’s non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were targeted as an important component of the democracy building and civil society promotion programs of the post-socialist period. In particular, it focuses on NGO organizing around the issue of domestic violence in Armenia. It argues that the framing of the problem along with the proposed solutions led to civil society resistance to and critique of the anti-domestic violence campaign. It considers both the causes and the implications of this resistance on organizing around domestic violence as well as the responses and adaptations of the NGOs involved in the campaign.
The intersections of gender and civil society in the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe have been examined primarily through the lens of Western Aid to support feminist nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). What has received less scholarly attention is the growing number of NGOs advocating for a return to more conservative gender roles and more restricted public roles for women. Many of these organizations are so-called “faithbased” organizations (FBOs), and are bound to particular religious denominations. In this article, I will examine the presence of Islamic FBOs in Bulgaria and how they mobilize a liberal “rights” discourse to justify practices that could be locally interpreted as being oppressive to women. Their insistence on guaranteeing women’s “right to choose” certain religious practices puts feminists and women’s NGOs in an increasingly difficult position.