Assessing the impact of. global norms + assistance
In sum, despite these limitations, adding substantial assistance to the blame and shame of human rights advocates working with transnational feminists was much more effective than the blame and shame process alone. Foreigners gave local activists considerable financial support for their activism, for their campaigns to raise public awareness of domestic violence, and for their initiatives to transform law enforcement practice. Foreign entrepreneurs brought even more resources. Funding also went to state institutions and state personnel through conferences, law enforcement training, and programs to advocate coordinated community responses. Although much remains to be done, domestic activists were able to translate the global norm of domestic violence as a violation of women’s human rights into Russian vernacular, resulting in notable shifts in media coverage and public awareness. Although there is no new domestic violence law—nor any substantial national reforms of criminal law—domestic violence is on the agenda of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, and several regional governments have passed regional laws or implemented new procedures to respond to domestic violence. Even though less than global feminists might hope, these changes have the potential for transforming the sex/ gender hierarchy. Global experience suggests that gender revolutions move at a glacial pace and not in a linear fashion.
Driven by intervention, this funded blame and shame process provided local actors with the necessary start-up resources. These included the ideational resources, such as the models for awareness campaigns and the certification of local activists’ concerns, as well as the basic financial resources it takes to run any organization and advocacy campaign. Once established, some local organiza- tions—similar to Keck and Sikkink’s (1998) boomerang—pressured external organizations to put pressure on the Russian government. But this too was fostered by outsiders, as global feminist organizations had enough influence on donors to persuade them to be more inclusive of local activists as well as to fund awareness campaigns and to support programs designed to move Russia toward what global feminists understood as best practices. In 2005, the drop in references to domestic violence in Russian newspapers, the disbanding of several official institutions designed to help women, and the financial and legal difficulties of women’s crisis centers demonstrated the consequences of donors pulling out of Russia’s gender violence politics.