Serial Publications of the Russian Women's Movement

Article excerpt

In the years immediately following the Russian Revolution in 1917, an active women's movement significantly influenced the development of governmental policies, but it was soon forced to take a back seat to other state concerns. In the late 1970s, members of a small feminist dissident movement in Leningrad were obliged to emigrate. During the period of social change in the late 1980s, a women's movement again appeared, particularly blossoming after the fall of the U.S.S.R. in 1991. By 1998, six hundred of about two thousand nongovernmental women's organizations had registered with the Ministry of Justice. While some members of this new Russian women s movement have embraced Western feminism, others have developed a methodology termed "feminology," which stresses the historical development of women's roles. (1) Many of the organizations and centers issue newsletters and other periodicals. Described below are publications issued in the major cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as publications from citi es in other regions of the country. (2)

Central Region (including Moscow)

In 1998, nearly a third of the registered Russian women's organizations clustered in the Central Region, which is also the hub for several important networks situated mostly in Moscow. (3) Two discussion forums held in Dubna in 1991-92 played an important role in creating the Information Center of the Independent Women's Forum (Infomatsionnyi tsentr Nezavisimogo zhenskogo foruma). The Center has published a journal entitled The Herald (Vestnik), as well as a weekly news digest, The Information Leaflet (Informatsionyi listok), which is distributed by email and printed cumulatively as the monthly Little Herald (Vestnichka). (4) The Consortium of Women's Non-Governmental Associations (Konsortium zhenskikh nepravitel'stvennykh ob"edinenii) links more than 150 Russian organizations with partners in the U.S. and in other countries of the former Soviet Union. A network of 36 organizations, the Association of Independent Women s Associations (Assosiatsiia nezavisimykh zhenskikh ob"edinenii), emerged amid the exciteme nt generated by the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.

Variety has characterized Moscow's organizations. The Association of Women Journalists (Assosiatsiia zhurnalistok) and the U.S. National Research Council jointly publish We/We (We/Myi)--formerly You and We (Vy i Myi)--a journal partially translated into English, featuring articles on topics such as feminist theory, the Internet, and the women's movement in Russia and abroad. The Russian Women's Movement (Dvizhenie zhenshchin Rossii) publishes an informational bulletin and the Web-based newspaper Women of Russia (Zhenshchiny Rossii), offering information about conferences, organizations and Russian women's history. Other prominent organizations include the club "Preobrazhenie" (Transfiguration), which has issued a literary journal of the same name since 1993, and the Museum of Women's Modern Art (Muzei sovremennogo zhenskogo iskusstva). The first issue of the Museum's journal of feminist criticism, Idiom, appeared as Number 26 of the American journal Heresies. Women in Science and Education (Zhenshchiny v nauk e i obrazovanii) provides selected Web-based articles of its newspaper Mrs. Fortune (G-zha-Udacha); and FAL'TA--the Feminist Alternative (Feministskaia al'ternativa)--the first organization to use the term "feminist" in its name, has issued Feminf (Feminist Informational Journal). A major center of academic feminism, the Moscow Center of Gender Studies (Moskovskii tsentr gendernykh issledovanii) publishes research, maintains a library, and organizes conferences.

Several of Moscow's organizations have developed comprehensive informational websites. The Women's Innovation East-West Fund (Zhenskii innovatsionnyi fond Vostok-Zapad [ZIF]) created the Open Woman Line (OWL) (Otkrytaia zhenskaia liniia), a website that includes an organizational database and issues of ZIF's Zhenshchina plius (also available in English as Woman Plus), a journal offering news about Russian women's organizations and articles on topics such as domestic abuse and the war in Chechnia. …