CZECH WOMEN'S CIVIC ORGANISING UNDER THE STATE SOCIALIST REGIME, SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION AND THE EU ACCESSION PERIOD
The article describes Czech women's civic organising focused on gender equality and women's rights since the Second World War and explains its character and development in the context of a) the state socialist regime, b) the impact of foreign and international donors on Czech women's civic organising during the socio-economic and political transformation of the first part of the 1990s, and c) the current process of the formalisation of Czech women's civic groups brought about by the Czech Republic's preparation for EU accession. The formalisation of women's civic groups is a process that consists of project-orientation, reform-orientation and the professionalisation of women's civic groups. In the era when the funding of women's civic groups has changed (as a result of EU Eastern enlargement) and the range of national political actors engaged in promoting gender equality has broadened (owing to pressure from the EU), these processes have brought about a shifts in the topics, activities, partnerships and strategies of Czech women's civic groups. These processes have contributed on the one hand to the marginalisation of those topics, activities and strategies previously addressed by some of Czech women's civic groups that do not fit in with the mainstream topics, activities and strategies defined by the EU (and by the EU influenced state). At the same time, however, some channels for having an impact on national decision-making processes have opened up to specific women's civic groups. EU Eastern enlargement paradoxically led to the orientation of women's civic groups towards national rather than supranational lobbying.
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