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Are borders only georgaphic? A case study of whether framing of women’s rights as human rights is successful at the domestic level
Unformatted Document Text:  Framing women’s rights as human rights 19 at the international level but fails to succeed in showing how these stages work at the domestic level in countries of the former Soviet Union. How to make the issue successful at the domestic level? Keck and Sikkink’s theory of transnational advocacy networks sees framing of women’s rights as human rights as a successful strategy to achieve goals of women’s NGOs. As it was demonstrated earlier, this frame, while being successful on the international arena, is not proved to be useful at the domestic level in countries of the former Soviet Union. Even though examples from not all fifteen states of the former U.S.S.R. were provided, one can conclude that women’s NGOs in these countries face similar problems in achieving their status and communicating their objectives to the publics due to the common Soviet past. Thus, the goals and the forms of the activities of women’s NGOs in these countries are rather similar (White, 1997). So far, NGOs from countries of the former Soviet Union used Western tactics to frame the issue of women’s rights as human rights and to raise public’s conscience at the domestic level. Due to social particularities of these countries, including three general problems: NGO legitimacy, a negative social image of feminism, and a lack of communication and unity among the NGOs and States, the women’s rights issue has to be reframed to be successful at the domestic level in these countries. Since the main problem in these countries is the implementation of the Platform and not a legal adoption of the Plan of Action, the frame of women’s rights as human rights can be substituted by a frame of women’s discrimination in the society. This frame has already been offered by some Russian researchers (Zavadskaya, 2000). NGOs need to point out the distance between de jure and de facto in the society and to actively attract attention of international NGOs to this problem.

Authors: Tsetsura, Katerina.
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Framing women’s rights as human rights
19
at the international level but fails to succeed in showing how these stages work at the domestic
level in countries of the former Soviet Union.
How to make the issue successful at the domestic level?
Keck and Sikkink’s theory of transnational advocacy networks sees framing of women’s
rights as human rights as a successful strategy to achieve goals of women’s NGOs. As it was
demonstrated earlier, this frame, while being successful on the international arena, is not proved
to be useful at the domestic level in countries of the former Soviet Union. Even though examples
from not all fifteen states of the former U.S.S.R. were provided, one can conclude that women’s
NGOs in these countries face similar problems in achieving their status and communicating their
objectives to the publics due to the common Soviet past. Thus, the goals and the forms of the
activities of women’s NGOs in these countries are rather similar (White, 1997).
So far, NGOs from countries of the former Soviet Union used Western tactics to frame
the issue of women’s rights as human rights and to raise public’s conscience at the domestic
level. Due to social particularities of these countries, including three general problems: NGO
legitimacy, a negative social image of feminism, and a lack of communication and unity among
the NGOs and States, the women’s rights issue has to be reframed to be successful at the
domestic level in these countries. Since the main problem in these countries is the
implementation of the Platform and not a legal adoption of the Plan of Action, the frame of
women’s rights as human rights can be substituted by a frame of women’s discrimination in the
society. This frame has already been offered by some Russian researchers (Zavadskaya, 2000).
NGOs need to point out the distance between de jure and de facto in the society and to actively
attract attention of international NGOs to this problem.


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