Naberezhnye Chelny, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia

Registration Data: Certificate # 654 issued by Naberezhnye Chelny City Council, May 25, 1994
Address: 423 815, Russia, Republic of Tatarstan, Naberezhnye Chelny, ul. 40 let Pobedy, 57a, apt. 182
Contact person: Elena Mashkova, Director
Telephone: (8552) 59-68-38 (home)
Tel./Fax: (8552) 53-62-65 (office)

In 1989, the first ever survey into a women's issue was conducted in Naberezhnye Chelny, entitled "Women: Work and Everyday Life" (sociologist E. Mashkova). In 1990, an unofficial women's group was formed which was actively involved in women's movement both nation- and world-wide. In 1992, the group was registered as "Women's Topic", in 1994, it was granted the status of a women's public association and renamed "Femina". "Femina" is an independent, non-profit organization.
Goals:Exercising and protecting people's civil, economic, social and cultural rights and liberties; enhancing their activity and independence; meeting their professional and amateur interests; encouraging scientific, technical and artistic creativity; taking part in charities; carrying out cultural and educational work, and any other activities not prohibited by present law.


The three lines of activities are followed:

research educational informational


Research line:

More than 20 sociological surveys have been carried out into the women's situation with follow-up publications of the findings:
"Woman and Labor" (1990), "Women's Employment Issues in a Monoindustrial City" (1991), "Men's and Women's Wage Differentiation at JSC KAMAZ" (1991), "Women's Attitude Towards Extending the Post-Childbirth Leave" (1992), "Social Protection of Women During the Transition to a Market Economy" (1993), "Women on the Job Market", "Women's Business Practices in a Monoindustrial City" (1995) "Gender Aspects of the Student Value Orientation Scheme" (1995), "Analyzing the Results of Testing Boys and Girls From the Viewpoint of Sexual Identification" (1995), "Motivation of Boys and Girls When Entering Universities" (1995), "Young people's Attitude to Violence" (1998), "The Content Analysis of Methods Applied by the Central TV Channels to Create Male and Female Images" (1998). The following subjects have been studied in cooperation with a number of international institutes: "Public Attitude to Islam", "Divorce in a Man's Life", "Privatization and Women's Rights".
Current Projects: "Comparative Analysis of Women's Situation in the Area of Employment from 1989 through 1999", "Gender Aspects of Globalization", "Violation of Women's Rights in the Private Sector".
Femina's officers have taken part in designing a number of city programs ("Family", "Improving the Women's Situation", "The Youth Program").
Besides, the Association members were directly involved in holding the following conferences:

  • "Women's Situation at Large Industrial Enterprises (KAMAZ, Naberezhnye Chelny)" attended by ILO, UN and UNESCO experts as well as representatives of the Institute of Socio-Economic Issues, Russian Academy of Sciences, and KAMAZ. May 1990.

  • "Social Protection of Women in a Monoindustrial City During the Transition to a Market Economy, Naberezhnye Chelny" attended by Colette Shulman (National Council for Research on Women, USA) and Anastasiya Posadskaya (Moscow Center for Gender Studies). November 1990.

  • "Women's Situation at KAMAZ: Problems, Prospects, Solutions", Naberezhnye Chelny. October 1991.

  • "Working Conditions Affecting Women's Health and Reproductive Functions", KAMAZ, Naberezhnye Chelny. April 1992.

  • "Measures to Involve Women in KAMAZ Management". November 1994.

  • "Forming Gender Culture in Students". June 1995

The Association members presented reports at the following international conferences:
  • Annual SEDEFOP Conference on Women's Situation (Berlin, November 1990, 1991).

  • Finnish-Russian Seminar "The Impact of Social Changes on Women's Situation: Experience in Finland and the USSR" (Moscow, 1991).

  • "Gender and the Reconstruction Policy: Experience in Russia and Finland" (Tampere, Finland, November 1992).

  • "Changes in the Employment Structure and Labor Policies in Russian Industry" (Moscow-St. Petersburg, 1992).

  • The Women's Innovation Fund Conference "Establishing Contacts Between Women of the East and West" (Dubna, 1992).

  • Beijing IWO Forum. E. Mashkova ran the "Electronic Communications Facilities and Prospects for Feminism after Beijing" section. (August-September 1995).

  • AWID conference, E. Mashkova made a report to the section "Mainstream Communication and Feminist Perspectives" (Washington, D.C., 1996).

  • Conference "Women in the Heart of Europe" (Budapest, September 1996).

  • Annual Conference "AU-German Women's Economic Forum", report by E. Mashkova "Three Stages of Reform in Russia and Women's Situation" (Cologne, Germany, 1995, 1996).

  • The First Forum of the Women's Program OSI Network (Budapest, September 1997).

  • International Conference "The Trafficking of NIS Women Abroad" (Moscow, November, 1997)

  • Inauguration conference "Gender Education" (Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1998)

  • Meeting of NIS-USA Women's Consortium members (Kiev, Ukraine, January 1998)

  • Conference "Women and the Media" (Moscow, February 1999 ), and others.

Femina's officers also took part in the 1st and 2nd Independent Women's Forums held in Dubna. . E. Mashkova organized and ran the section "Women and Women's Organizations at Industrial Enterprises", assisted by Prof. Cynthia Cockburn (London City University, UK) and Prof. Katarina Katz (Goteborg University, Sweden).


Educational line:

Since 1994, the students of the Institute of Management, Naberezhnye Chelny, have been taught the courses in Gender Studies and Sociology of Sex-Role Differences (author E. shkova). The following training courses were completed under the project "Distant Learning with Telematics" by Steffi Engert (SOKOM, Cologne, Germany): Gender Aspects in the Sphere of Business and Employment (by E. Mashkova); Business Management for Beginners; Business English. The Project was backed by the European Community (April 1994 through February 1995).
"Femina" has conducted socio-psychological training for young people, a training in women's human rights and feminist self-defense. Our officers also attended the training "Women's Human Rights: Step by Step" in cooperation with the Institute of Women, Law and Development (Washington, D.C.), and ran the section "Women's Status in Politics, Economy, Family" at the 1st and 3rd Summer School of Gender Studies (1996, 1998). Jointly with the "Sisters" Crisis Center (Moscow), "Femina" arranged a training for the city's psychologists in handling victims of sexual abuse (backed by the Ford Foundation).
We have the following publications: "Women on the Job Market. Women's Business Practice" (1994), "Gender Aspects in the Sphere of Business and Employment" (1994), "Forming the Gender Culture in Students" (1995), "Review of the Beijing Conference Materials" (1996), "Equal Rights? Equal Opportunities?" (1996), "Come to Your Own Rescue!" (elimination of violence against girls and women) (1997).
"Femina" has a specialized library consisting of more than 500 publications in Russian and about 200 in English. The library offers its books to over 60 users ranging from journalists and NGO's activists to teachers, postgraduate and undergraduate students alike.
E. Mashkova worked as a co-editor of the 5th issue of "You and We" magazine and attended the Women's Study Course at Hunter College (New York, USA) as a volunteer student.


Informational Line:

In 1991, "Femina" produced a series of informational and social TV programs "KAMAZONKA" addressing the community women's problems, and a video film about the cooperation with the "Goldrausch" Women's Foundation (Berlin, Germany). These were later broadcast by the local cable TV.
The support provided by the Ford Foundation in 1995 and Eurasia Foundation in 1996 enabled "Femina" to purchase the necessary video equipment and create a series of 12 TV programs about the community women and "women's" problems, including: " 'Femina' Is Not Just a Woman" (about feminism), "A Variant of Success" (n women's business), "The Way It Happens" (n violence against women), "Unemployment - a Woman's Silhouette" (about unemployed women), "Do You Know?" (about the harm of early abortions), "Contraception. Pro and Con" (n modern contraceptives), "The Superstition of the XX-th Century" (about female drivers), "delina" (featuring a young gifted artist), "y Friend Loneliness" (n psychological problems of single women), "Is It Dangerous to be a Man?" (n discrimination against men), "Equal Rights? Equal Opportunities?" (n women's rights). The programs were broadcast by the regional TV channel "EFIR - TVK" with video recordings distributed to more than 60 women's organizations.
In 1998, the video clip "Mirror" and the film "A Special Opinion" were produced (based on the content analysis of Central TV shows).
In 1997 and 1998, backed by the Ford Foundation, "Femina" arranged interregional festivals of TV shows for women "Women's Topic" and experience sharing seminars for journalists. These were attended by video groups from Murmansk, Petrozavodsk, Ekaterinburg, Novocherkassk, Izhevsk, Krasnoyarsk, St.Petersburg, Irkutsk, Omsk, Kazan and other Russian cities.
The participants were provided with materials embracing the following subjects: "Filmmaking Technology: from Conception to Screen", "The Power of Affecting the Audience", "The Interaction of Independent Women's Organizations with Local Authorities", "Providing Feedback. The Power of Affecting the Audience and Public Opinion Estimation Methods", "Journalistic Methods of Collecting Information Before and While Recording a TV Show", "The Findings of Content Analysis of the Male and Female Images Created on the Russian Central TV Channels".
Video cassettes with TV shows, training and educational programs are distributed throughout the Independent Women's Forum network.
Current video projects: "Women's Human Rights Video School" supported by the EEC Democratic Program (five educational video programs), the film "The Elimination of All forms of Violence Against Women" (tentative name) in cooperation with "Legal Education Initiative" (Moscow, Washington, D.C.). Designing the project "Video Lessons in the Elimination of Violence Against Women" (backed by UNIFEM International Program).
"Women's Notebook" (women's movement newspaper for women) and "Girls Ask for Attention!" (human rights magazine for girls ).
Plans for the future:

  • creating a TV business video school for business-oriented women;

  • creating a documentation/information center for women;

  • proceeding with magazine "Girls Ask for Attention!";

  • holding the interregional festival of TV shows "Women's Topic -3";

  • conducting the survey "Violation of Women's Rights in the Sphere of Work and Employment" and arranging a follow-up conference in cooperation with the State Soviet of the Republic of Tatarstan.

"Femina" is a partner in the project "East-West Women Network", a member of the Russian Legal Committee on Women's Situation, and a promoter of the Association of Independent Women's Organizations. "Femina" 's experience, projects and publications have been widely used by women's NGO's nationwide.

Director. Elena V. Mashkova. Born June 18, 1961. Higher technical education. Diplomas in sociology, University of Marxism-Leninism, and in social psychology, Latvian Institute of Refresher Training (Riga). Postgraduate courses at the Institute of Socio-Economic Problems of Population, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ph.D. in Economics. Head of the Personnel Management Chair, Institute of Management, Naberezhnye Chelny.
Teaches courses in Sociology, Personnel Management, Organizational Behavior, Sociology of Sex-Role Differences, Gender and Culture, Gender Aspects in the Sphere of Business and Employment. Conducts trainings in women's human rights and feminist self-defence.
Conducted more than 10 surveys into women's situation, has about 20 publications on scientific and social issues. Arranged seven city conferences, made reports at more than 20 international conferences. Participated in the I-st and II-nd Independent Women's Forums in Dubna. Co-person in charge of section "Electronic Communications Facilities" at the Beijing Conference.
One of the founders and the permanent head of WPA "Femina".

WPA "Femina" wishes to acknowledge the support, assistance and cooperation of the following international and Russian organizations:

  • the State Soviet of the Republic of Tatarstan;
  • Women's Innovation Fund "East - West";
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation;
  • Eurasia Foundation;
  • Ford Foundation;
  • Global Women Network;
  • Global Fund for Women
  • NIS-USA Women's Consortium;
  • Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
  • Embassy of the United Kingdom;
  • International Institute "Women, Law and Development";
  • Women's Network Program, Institute "Open Society", Soros Foundation;
  • EEC Democratic Program;
  • UNIFEM Program.