Moscow, Russia

The Centre is registered as international organization by the Ministry of the Justice in June 16, 1993. Its registration number 01791. The territorial status - international.
The Gaia has six branches: four in Russia, one in Armenia,
one in USA (staff Michigan).

Address: 2/3 Khlebny pereulok, Moscow, 121814;
Contact persons: Nadezhda Shvedova, President
phone: 7 (095) 382-75-02;
fax: 7 (095) 200 12 07.

The Gaia International Women's Center is a not-for-profit women's NGO. The Center is named after the Greek goddess, Gaia, who created the earth, sky, and mountains.

Gaia supports:

The idea of the women's center in Moscow was developed at the second Soviet-American Citizen's Summit in January, 1990 in Moscow. It was the common initiative of Elena Ershova (Institute for U.S. and Canada Studies, Moscow) and Jan Smith (President of the Women's Exchange, Winnetka, Illinois).

The Gaia Center is now international NGO with chapters in Sakha Republic (formerly Yakutia), St. Petersburg, Orel and Zapadnaja Dvina in Central Russia, Armenia and in Michigan, USA. Gaia works with other organizations building a grassroots women's movement. Towards this end it was one of the convenor's of the new Women's League, an organization of independent women's groups.

To help make this emerging women's network really efficient, the Gaia Center is developing a women's clearinghouse in Moscow. This is to meet the needs of a wide variety of women's groups which lack information about each other and could use mutual support to make themselves a serious social force.

Nadejda Shvedova

Women's groups would be linked by computer to each other and to the clearinghouse which will help term coalitions in support of democracy and civil society in Russia and the former republics, the Newly Independent States (NIS).

The Gaia Center has the experience to begin and to manage such a clearinghouse. It was among the organizers of the Women and Market Economy international conference (October 1992); the first parliamentary hearings on the condition of women in Russia (May 1993); it began a Leadership School for Women, funded by international conference in Moscow in October 1994 on Civil-Military Relations. This has been commissioned by Katherine Kelleher of the Brookings Institute and President of WIID (Women in International Security). On the Russian side, the Foreign Affairs, A.Bessmertnyk, will be a co-sponsor.

The Gaia Center is also developing a joint project of building a common international women's organizations of Russia, the NIS and USA toward the goal of gaining equal opportunities for women at all levels of society. To enjoy a decent life, women need to work on improving all conditions from decision making to a healthy environment, from dependency to self-sufficiency. Gaia believes that women need to find their own personal identity in a culture with a strong civil society.

Nadezhda Shvedova