Ikäihmisten yliopisto Porvoo 16.1.2014

Living with Risk:
Post-Soviet Welfare State & Daily Life Uncertainties in Russia
27 October, 2014
Welfare Cricis and Cricis Centres in Russia
Docent Aino Saarinen
Aleksanteri-institute, Univesity of Helsinki
(not to be distributed outside the class)
Saarinen 27.10.2014
Research background
• Finnish-Russian-US umbrella project WGA – Welfare, Gender
and Agency in Russia in the 2000-2010s (2008-2010/2012)
• Finnish-Swedish-Norwegian research project RWN - Russian
Women as Immigrants in Norden: Everyday life, Social and
Cultural Justice and Political Citizenship
• Nordic-NW Russian research and development project NCRB A Network for Crisis Centres in the Russian Barents (and in
the Barents region as a whole)
(1999-2002, 2002-2005)
• Femina Borealis network in Barents (1993-1994 ---)
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Saarinen: Welfare Crisis and Crisis
Centres in Russia Today, 2012
• In:
• Carlbäck, Gradskova and Kravchenko (eds.): And They Lived Happily
Ever After. Norms and Everyday Practices of Family and Parenthood
in Russia and Eastern Europe. Central European University Press
• NCRB, WGA – publications (last slide)
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Welfare crisis and crisis centres
National policies
1. Population – fertility crisis?
2. Reproduction crisis?
3. Gender violence crisis?
• Work against gender violance
• - Crisis centre movement, NGOs, struggling for survival
• - Etatization: public cricis centres
• Conclusions
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WGA project – ”inspirations”
• Debate in Idäntutkimus journal (Studies on Eastern Europe)
2006-2007 --- WGA project
• Arguments for men as loosers in transition:
• Working-age men, averedge life expectancy 58 y (see
development countries)
• Population forecasts:
• 2006: 143 million; 2050: 112 million
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(feminist critics)
De-population forecast:2006: 143 m; 2050: 112 m:
Mortality crisis (men)? Fertility crisis (women)?
Reproduction crisis?
Gender violence crisis?
• From whose perspective the problems (and prioritization) is defined,
how they are ”framed”?
• Who and how to solve problems
• Woman’s issue? Gender issue?
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from inside and outside
• Discourse approach --- knowlege and power
• 1: UN (UNDP) development reports on Russia; both general
and gender reports (by Russia’s UNDP experts (Moscow),
inside to inside)
• 2: Gender equality report for UN (implementation of Beijing
programme 1995) (by the social ministry, outwards)
• 3: Critical views: Open Society Institute’s report 2007 (Soros
Foundation) (by experts and activists, outside and inside)
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• Men’s life expectancy 58 y – as low as in developing countries
(women: 71 y) (historically unic, cf even1930s)
• Priority problem, experts and Putin (annual speech 2006): high
mortality of working-age men, Putin: ”catastrophic”, ”critical”)
• Internal (from inside to inside) documents list relevant factors: life
style, diet, alcohol)
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Population crisis = FERTILITY CRISIS?
• How to solve it, by whom?
• It is not about mortality crisis only but fertility crisis as well
• IOW (in other words): Women have to solve the problem by rising
fertility (cf 2006 NGO seminar at Aleksanteri Institute: women must
”save men”)
• Pre- and post-natal problem
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Fertility crisis -- cont
• In the Soviet Union: abortion a key method in birth control – at
worst: 2 abortions / 1 birth
• In Russia: abortions decreased but maternal mortality still high (cf
UNDP reports (2013): 7 x higher than in Finland)
• Birth rate decreased in 1990s in ”shock therapy” years; increased in
2000s (UNDP report (2013): at the same level as in EU-15 countries
on average)
• However, in Moscow-experts’ reports, in mid-2000s, the UN
indicators are ”reformed” (”local adaptations” in the reports)
• Contradiction: cost-benefit analysis: more beneficial to direct
resources for men than combating maternal mortality
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To rise fertility, how to support women?
• Rights and services in welfare state
• Birth control and abortion rights (sexual health)
• Before and after delivery: maternity services; child welfare
clinics; maternity leave, allowance
• Kindergartens (combining work and family)
• IOW: not only about fertility (pre-postnatal period) but in a
longer perspective reproduction crisis
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Maternity capital
• Initiative from above, Putin, annual speech, 2006: ”maternity
capital” reform
• Money transfer for families for kindergarten costs for 2nd and
3rd child
• Available? Many kindergartens closed in 1990s: in early 2000s,
shortage of 1 million places (UNDP, Mosocw, gender equality
report 2006)
• What for women themselves? Money transfer to the pension
fund (to be used 30 y later?) (Also, pension system worsened
earlier in transition)
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In sum
• Reproduction: women’s major civic duty for the nation (in
spite of mother-worker model)
• Men’s privileges not challenged (except in rport outwards to
UN..); social fatherhood hardly discussed
• Link to gender violence: provocatively – will abused women
ever become happy mothers to more children? Will birth rates
rise without combating violence, protecting victims, punishing
abusers? Masculinity/femininity ideals?
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Gender violence (GV), global level, Russia
• UN Women’s conferences, Nairobi 1985: GV one of the 12 key
• UN General assembly 1994: GV is violation of women’s human
rights --- this obliges all member countries to implement these
decisions and regulations (norms and policies))
• UN Millennium Programme 2000 repeats this: GV one of central
• In Russia: GV extensive but silenced
• Family violence, rape, prostitution,. Trafficking in women, symbolic
violence in media, harassment in work life…
• IOW: of multiple kinds, difficult to make statistics (best: surveys!)
leet alone indexes (UNDP global welfare index report 2006)
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One reliable indicator
• Russia: women killed in close relationships: 14 000 – 15 000 / year
(10-15-20 x Nordic countries)
• NGOs: informed about this before Beijing in 1995, confiremed by
Ministry of Justice, end-1990s
• Cf. UNDP development index report 2006: GV should be part of
welfare indexes
• How does gender violence and this ”detail” come up in the three
kinds of reports?
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UNDP gender report, Moscow: own
chapter in this report – ok?
• Note the term: gender aspect of violence
• ”Men exposed to violence more often than
• Why? Because violence between men is
included to the figure
• IOW:the indicator is distorted, does not
measure same phenomena as UN
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Analysis from outside:
Open Society Institute (Soros) 2007
• ”Violence against Women in Russia: Does the
Goverment Care in Russia?” (part of OSI’s
global follow-up)
• As to Russia: special attention to family
violence and ”murders” of women; violence in
warfare, prisions; sex trafficking
• Conclusion: no equality machinery in Russia
(closed 2003), no machinery for combating
gender equality
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.. OSI-cont, Russia does not have
• No reform of legal norms in accordance with UN norms (Criminal
• No instructions for new practices, follow-ups, actions plans
• No funding for crisis centres and shelters; service and support for
• No training for officials, no information and awareness activities; No
research, statistics
• Russia has: 7 federal and 5 local shelters, 1 place / 9 million
inhabitants; EU: norm: 1/10 000 inhabitants
• OSI-conclusion: combating GV has been left to NGOs
• What is the situation of NGOs established from early 1990s?
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Crisis centre movement:
1990--2013: ”rise and fall”?
• During transition support for women’s NGOs one priority in western
”democracy aid” and ”development industry” – especially
combating gender violence through crisis centres
• Nordic-NW Russian NCRB – A Network for Crisis Centres in (NordicRussian) Barents, 1999-2001, 2002-2005 (funding: Nordic Council of
Ministers, EU – Interreg, Norwegian Barents Secretariat) (both
NGOs and the few public units)
• NCRB-survey 2000, 2004; WGA-survey 2008-09
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NGO-crisis centres – dual mission
1. Help to victims (3rd sector service units)
• Hot lines
• Councelling
• Self-help groups
2. Political agency for change (civil society activists)
• Information, awareness-raising
• Political pressure, lobbying for changing legislations (UN) and
offering services
• Mostly volunteers
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Economic and political opportunity
structures closing
• No more external support, resources go to new crisis areas
• Little internal support: public funding directed to collaborative
social service-units, not to politically active units – NGOs into
”helpmates” of the state?)
• Important: new NGO legislation under Putinsä rule: 2006 + 2010,
• 2012: NGOs receiving foreign funding = ”foreign agents” if they
have ”political aims” (registration, accounting, to taken to court?)
• What is politics?
• Number of autonomous units decrasing (NCRB + WGA surveys in
NW Russia)
• RISE and FALL of this ”small crisis centre movement”
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Etatization --- new trend: increase of
public crisis centres and shelters
• Not visible in OSI report2007
• Part of building local welfare state
• 1999 decree from Social Ministry on local ”complex social units”
including services for women & children in ”difficult life situations”
• Implementation from mid-2000s, at the same time as opportunity
structures for autonomous NGOs were closing and the number of
NGOs (especially politically active units) decreasing
• CASE ST. PETERSBURG: positive development when Valentina
Matvienko as the governeur at turn of 2000s-2010s
• 1999-2005, NCRB: 1 public unit
• 2010, WGA: 16 public units (one in almost each district), presently
some 20 ; coordinator for work
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Public units - on which mission?
WGA surveys, interviews 2008-2011
Public units: stress on family work
FRAME: familialism, women’s rights, antifeminism
Political aim: reform of Criminal code (same as for
NGOs but less offensive methods)
• These actors without experience of civic activism
= professional employees
• Does it question male power? (Maija Jäppinen)
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PART 6: Conclusion
1. Thesis on depopulation-population crisis valid
--- but: it cannot be solved only pressuring women for giving birth (measures
regarding sexual health, maternal mortality necessary)
2. A larger frame necessary: reproduction, combining work and family by
--guaranteeing day care for all children
--involving men for child care and home work --- changing ideas on
”masculinity” and family models more equal
3. Gender violence crisis is part of population crisis
--population crisis cannot be solved without combating violence -- ”seriously”
--- as a gender problem --IOW: Russia does not implement UN norms and policies
FINALLY: women do not have political power at all relevant levels and,
moreover, the political regime not ”democratic” --- SEE: WTR – Women and
Transformation in Russia, Routledge 2014.
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Saarinen 24.10.2014
Johnson, Janet Elise & Saarinen, Aino (2011): Assessing Civil Society in Putin’s Russia: The Plight of
Women’s Crisis Centers. Communist and post-Communist Studies, 44, 1, pp. 41-52.
Johnson, Janet Elise & Saarinen, Aino (2013): Twenty-First Century Feminism under Repression: Gender
Regime change and the Women’s Crisis Centers Movement in Russia. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture
and Society, 38,1, pp. 543-567
Saarinen, Aino, Drachova, Irina and Liapounova, Olga (2003): Cricis Centres in the Barents Region –
Questionnaire Report. In: Aino Saarinen, Olga Liapounova and Irina Drachova (eds.): NCRB – A Network for
Crisis Centres for Women in the Barents Region. Report of the Nordic Russian Development Project, 19992002. Centre for women’s studies and gender research: Gender research: methodology and practice, Vol.
5. Pomor State University, Arkhangelsk, pp. 161-195.
Saarinen, Aino (2012): Welfare Crisis and Crisis Centers in Russia Today (2012). In: Helene Carlbäck, Yulia
Gradskova and Zhanna Kravchenko (eds.): And They Lived Happily Ever After. Norms and Everyday
Practices of Family and Parenthood in Russia and Eastern Europe. Central European University Press , pp
Saarinen, Aino, Ekonen, Kirsti and Uspenskaia, Valentina (2014): Breaks and continuities of the ´great
transformations´. In: Aino Saarinen, Kirsti Ekonen and Valentina Uspenskaia (Eds): Women and
Transformation in Russia. Abingdon, RoutledGe, pp. 1-28.
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