Notes on measurement and method
This appendix provides more detail on the measurements and methods used to quantify mobilization against gender violence in chapter 3 and media attention to gender violence in Russia in chapters 4 through 6.
Women’s Mobilization against Gender Violence
Measuring the extent of mobilization against gender violence in Russia is a difficult endeavor. As Weldon (2002, 223—24) discusses in detail, measuring women’s mobilization is a challenge even in more established and stable democracies. There is a tendency among scholars to count the number of organizations or the number of activists involved with the organizations to approximate mobilization. This kind of data, if available, facilitates the use of statistical methods. The problem is that mobilization refers to the strength and importance of these organizations, which may or may not relate to the numbers of organizations or individuals. For example, one small organization with a few official members may be very powerful. To get around this problem, Costain (1998) suggests coding accounts of organizational activities in the media. Weldon (2002, 224) measures the public support for the movement “as expressed in public opinion polls, newspaper editorials, number of signatures on petitions, size of demonstrations, behavior of public officials, and so on.”
Measuring women’s mobilization in Russia creates even more difficulties. As I discuss in chapter 3, NGOs in postcommunist countries have a tendency to emerge and disappear quickly, sometimes because the NGO was simply a mechanism to apply for a grant and other times because the environment was inhospitable. Marc Howard (2003) conducted surveys across the region to get a sense of people’s involvement in civil society, but his was a question about the strength of civil society as a whole. The number of activists in the women’s crisis centers is so small that such a survey would be impractical. Moreover, Russia did not participate in the largest survey of NGOs, the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project (Kaldor, Anheier, and Glasius 2003, 359).
In a study that also looks at foreign intervention into Russia’s NGO sector, Sundstrom (2006, appendix 5) uses both the number of officially registered NGOs and estimates by local NGO resource centers. She recognizes that the official estimates include inactive organizations and exclude those that have not officially registered, an onerous process in Russia. She adds the experts from the local NGO resource to provide a more accurate figure and acknowledges that these estimates may vary across region, not just because of different numbers of organizations, but also because of the different degrees of knowledge of these resource centers.
This kind of triangulation and recognition of biases seems the best that is reasonably possible to do in Russia at this time.
My approach here is to give both conservative and generous estimates of the number of organizations working against gender violence (see table 3.1). These estimates are based on fieldwork and third-party lists of gender violence organizations in Russia from donors, transnational feminist networks, human rights advocates, and Russian umbrella organizations concerned about gender violence. The lists I used were the following:
1. Founding members of the Russian Association of Crisis Centers for Women (RACCW), 1994
2. RACCW members, 1995
3. Participants in a Russian lawyer project for women’s crisis centers of Women, Law, and Development International, 1997
4. Organizations that self-identified as working on violence against women in a 1998 directory of women’s NGOs in Russia (Abubikirova, Klimenkova, Kotchkina, Regentova, and Troinova 1998, 9)
5. Organizations receiving funds from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) project to aid women’s crisis centers in Russia, 1999
6. Organizations receiving USAID funds through the IREX project to aid women’s crisis centers in Russia, 2000
7. RACCW members, 2000
8. Organizations working with USAID’s Trafficking and Information Dissemination Project, 2001—2004
9. Organizations working with USAID’s Trafficking Prevention Project in the Russian Far East and Siberia, 2001—2004 (Some organizations on this list were not included because there was incomplete information or because they were U. S. organizations.)
10. Network for Crisis Centres for Women in the Barents Region, 2003
11. Women against Violence Europe, 2003
12. ANNA Information Network, 2004
13. RACCW members, 2004
14. Angel Coalition, 2004
15. Directory of Russian organizations concerned about trafficking in persons from the American Bar Association Central and Eurasian Law Initiative, 2004
16. List of women’s crisis centers in Russia from the Open Society Institute, 2007
I rejected lists that did not seem credible, such as a 2004 list from UNIFEM of organizations working as part of its campaign against gender violence. I found that there was almost no overlap with any of the other lists, and when I contacted a random sample, I discovered that the organizations did not really exist or that the organizations had no experience with this kind of activism. With my research assistant, Gulnara Zaynullina, I compiled a master list of all organizations found on these various lists, making note of which and how many lists each organization was on. We also identified the organizations by region, using the eighty-nine regions that existed in Russia up in 2004.
As elaborated in chapter 3, the conservative estimates are based on fieldwork and on several of the lists that I knew from fieldwork included only organizations that were comprehensive women’s crisis centers, engaged in providing assistance to individuals and in broader advocacy, that had links to global feminist ideas. The master list of organizations allowed me to gauge the organizations’ longevity, links with other organizations, fundability, and issue orientation as well as the movement’s geographical distribution. As I describe in chapter 3, I use several of these larger lists for the generous estimates of the number of organizations working against gender violence in Russia. For the full data set, please contact the author.