Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Promoting Social Reform in

ROLE OF NGOs IN SOCIAL REFORM IN RUSSIA 5

Roleof Non-Governmental Organizations in Promoting Social Reform inRussia

Therebirth of Russian Civil Society

VadimNakitin in his article addresses the issue on how a group ofactivists rose up to defend the country against the evils that weregoing on in Russia. For example, Alexey Navalny launched a websitewhere people could report any cases of corruption in government andby doing this, Alexey claims to have prevented massive corruption. Another group of environmentalists did their part in protecting thewilderness in Khimki forest against the construction of asuperhighway. The Civil society is doing this despite being deniedairtime in the media.

Infighting against the evils in the nation civil activists were bitterthat the president was putting the interests of the foreigners aheadof the interests of the citizens in the matter of the highwayconstruction. This concern came from Yevegenia Chirivoka who was partof the opposition. It was surprising that a member of the oppositioncould be against the west whereas all the addresses previously werepro-western.

Thecitizens of Russia are concerned about the state of corruption in thecountry and are even willing to sacrifice some of their democraticrights for law on order. It is with this zeal that the civil societyhas addressed the issues of corruption.

Thechallenge comes in that these campaigns are mostly carried out on theinternet where it is a minority of the population that participates,and those that participate are not confident enough to take action.This means that the proponents of these fights are not popularenough. However, there are those who look for other means likecollective bargaining to fight for their rights.

Thisessay in relation to my work shows how the NGO sector has managed tofight massive corruption in Russia. The good thing is that eventhough no major change can be seen, the group has managed to set theground for a better future.

Women’sNGOs in Russia: Struggling from the Margins

Thisarticle by Lisa Subdstrom addresses three major issues: thedevelopment of women advocacy through the NGOs, the funding of womenNGOs from donors and the struggles of women NGOs in Russia. Theauthor looks into the role of the NGOs as part of the civil societyand states that they are used to fight for the rights of the citizensand should there be any resistance from state officials, they willhave built a forum for public discourse.

Throughthe NGOs the participation of women in public matters has increasedover time. The author is however concerned that one cannot base theirconclusion on women participation in public affairs on the number ofNGOs in the country.

Theauthor is concerned that there are major challenges impeding growthof the women NGOs sector. Some of these challenges include: Negativepublic opinion by the government, poor links among NGOs, lack ofconnections with the grass root citizens, and extreme politicalweakness. What the author brings out in the article is that there arestill stereotypes against women NGOs and there is the feeling thatthey are going to fail. Participants are seen as hard-headed womenwhich is a misconception on feminism.

Thereare a lot of challenges and all sort of barriers including political,normative and economic barriers against this sector. This sectorcannot be said to have failed, there has been a lot of successespecially at the regional level despite the many challenges. Thewomen NGOs should take note to address the particular problemsaffecting women by going back to the citizen at the grass root level.

Thisarticle comes in handy and provides the ground for assessing the NGOsector in Russia especially where women are involved. it shows therole of the NGOs in generating social reform and addressing issueslike public participation of women that was not there before the NGOscame up.

References

Nikitin,V. (2011, Jul 18). The Rebirth of Russian Civil Society. TheNation.Retrieved fromhttp://www.thenation.com/article/162108/rebirth-russian-civil-society#.

Sundstrom,L. (2010). Women`s NGOs in Russia: Struggling from the Margins. Demokratizatsiya,207-29. Retrieved from https://www.gwu.edu/~ieresgwu/assets/docs/demokratizatsiya%20archive/10-