Mothers and Daughters of the Maidan: Gender, repertoires of violence, and the division of labour in Ukrainian protests
The Euromaidan shocked most observers of Ukrainian politics, not only for its longevity (November 21, 2013 – February 22, 2014), but also for its turn to violent repertoires of protest in the later stages. What was at first a peaceful mass protest event which saw nearly equal participation of men and women (Onuch, 2014d; Onuch & Martsenyuk, 2013), turned into what seemed to be a violent and male dominated riot. While much attention has been paid to the brave ‘women of the Euromaidan’ who also engaged in violent protests (Khromeychuk, 2014; Phillips, 2014), female activists and other protest participants (‘ordinary’ citizens) have reported a gendered division of labour in the protest zone. Thus, it is still not clear what the role of gender was during the different stages of protest - and if the participation of women was in fact, any different from that of male protest participants. This paper employs original data from rapid interviews and onsite surveys of protest participants, and the authors’ in-depth interviews with 48 activists to investigate how violent repertoires and the general militarization of the Euromaidan protests reproduced patriarchal gender stereotypes.
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