Publication Date

April 2017


Victoria Smolkin, Peter Rutland


Russian & E. European Studies, Government


English (United States)


This thesis analyzes Ukrainian gender-oriented and women’s issues focused civil society organizations and the challenges they face in achieving their goals. I ask what particular configuration of civil society activism, state intervention, liberal international assistance, and national prospects, will provide Ukrainian women with the security and freedom to build the lives they want. This thesis attempts to answer this question by analyzing each of these structures and their interactions. I argue that in order for Ukrainian gender equality work to be successful and sustainable, its theoretical precepts must be internalized. In order for this to happen, there must be a careful (partial or total) divestment from foreign structures and ideology. This is complicated by the fact that civil society organizers and activists face many critical challenges, from inadequate funding and resources, to being low priorities for the state and society. But, they are also tasked with adapting and reconfiguring the universal for the particular.



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