Recent Submissions

  • Die bessere Hälfte? Frauenbewegungen und Frauenbestrebungen im Ungarn der Habsburgermonarchie 1848 bis 1918

    Zimmermann, Susan; Department of History and Medieval Studies; Department of Gender Studies (PromediaNapvilág KiadóWienBudapest, 1999)
  • Frauenpolitik und Männergewerkschaft: Die IGB-Fraueninternationale und die internationale Geschlechterpolitik der Zwischenkriegszeit

    Zimmermann, Susan; Department of Gender Studies; Department of History and Medieval Studies (LöckerWien, 2021)
    Die gewerkschaftliche Fraueninternationale, zum Internationalen Gewerkschaftbund (IGB) – auch bekannt als die Amsterdam International – gehörte, war zwischen Mitte der 1920er und Anfang der 1940er Jahre tätig. Die Frauen, die diese Internationale mit Leben füllten, setzten sich mit Sachverstand und Hingabe für Belange weiblicher Arbeitskräfte ein. Sie taten dies im Rahmen und Umkreis des IGB, in Kooperation mit der Internationalen Arbeitsorganisation (ILO) und dem Völkerbund, in Auseinandersetzung mit anderen Frauenorganisationen und -komitees, und stets mit Blick darauf, die gewerkschaftliche Frauenpolitik und die Politik der Frauenarbeit überhaupt, innerhalb des IGB und in den einzelnen Ländern zu beeinflussen oder gar anzuleiten. Der IGB-Fraueninternationale war es, wie die Autorin in dieser Studie zeigen möchte, um die Internationalisierung der Politik der Frauenarbeit zu tun, und sie zielte auf die Ausweitung des Handlungsfeldes von internationalen und nationalen Politiken der Frauenarbeit. In enger Verbindung mit ihrer inhaltlichen Arbeit bemühten sich die IGB-Frauen um die Organisierung und Mobilisierung von Frauen in die und in den Gewerkschaften, sowie darum, Männer zur Mitarbeit und Unterstützung zu gewinnen. Hinzu kam ihr Engagement in der Politik für den Frieden und gegen den Faschismus. Die gewerkschaftliche Fraueninternationale, zum Internationalen Gewerkschaftbund (IGB) – auch bekannt als die Amsterdam International – gehörte, war zwischen Mitte der 1920er und Anfang der 1940er Jahre tätig. Die Frauen, die diese Internationale mit Leben füllten, setzten sich mit Sachverstand und Hingabe für Belange weiblicher Arbeitskräfte ein. Sie taten dies im Rahmen und Umkreis des IGB, in Kooperation mit der Internationalen Arbeitsorganisation (ILO) und dem Völkerbund, in Auseinandersetzung mit anderen Frauenorganisationen und -komitees, und stets mit Blick darauf, die gewerkschaftliche Frauenpolitik und die Politik der Frauenarbeit überhaupt, innerhalb des IGB und in den einzelnen Ländern zu beeinflussen oder gar anzuleiten. Der IGB-Fraueninternationale war es, wie die Autorin in dieser Studie zeigen möchte, um die Internationalisierung der Politik der Frauenarbeit zu tun, und sie zielte auf die Ausweitung des Handlungsfeldes von internationalen und nationalen Politiken der Frauenarbeit. In enger Verbindung mit ihrer inhaltlichen Arbeit bemühten sich die IGB-Frauen um die Organisierung und Mobilisierung von Frauen in die und in den Gewerkschaften, sowie darum, Männer zur Mitarbeit und Unterstützung zu gewinnen. Hinzu kam ihr Engagement in der Politik für den Frieden und gegen den Faschismus.
  • Gendered threats to social protection in an anti-liberal state

    Fodor, Éva; Department of Gender Studies (UN WomenNew York, 2018)
    Expert paper prepared for the Expert Group Meeting, Sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 63): ‘Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls’, New York, 13-15 September 2018
  • Gender Reflections on the (Post)Pandemic in Central and Eastern Europe

    Šmídová, Iva; Dudová, Radka; Fodor, Éva; Department of Gender Studies (Czech Academy of Sciences, 2023)
    Pandemie covidu-19 měla hluboký dopad na společenské struktury a praktiky, které jsou nutně genderované. Cílem tohoto tematického čísla je reflektovat nedávné zkušenosti ze života v pandemii a v době po ní, a to s důrazem na jejich genderové dimenze. Perspektivy, teorie a empirické analýzy shromážděné v článcích tohoto čísla jsou příspěvkem k tolik potřebnému komplexnímu pochopení dopadů pandemie na jednotlivce a jejího složitého vlivu na genderové vztahy, sociální reprodukci, trhy práce, novou dynamiku soukromého i veřejného života a obecněji zdraví a kvalitu života. Texty se zabývají konkrétními tématy, která nám umožňují nově promýšlet a přezkoumávat tyto fenomény s ohledem na nedávný vývoj související s „koronakrizí“. Cílem tohoto čísla bylo zaměřit se například na nové rozdělení a překrývání veřejného/soukromého, de/institucionalizaci péče a vzdělávání, zdraví, politiku genderu a sexuality za lockdownu, nerovnosti apod.
  • “Far from the Space of Tolerance”: Hungary and the Biopolitical Geotemporality of Postsocialist Homophobia

    Renkin, Hadley Z.; Department of Gender Studies (Springer, 2023)
    Sexuality has long been central to ethnographic constructions of exotic difference, an index critically demarcating the borders of European Modernity and its negative and positive Others, and underpinning both extra-European colonial domination and modern biopolitical regimes of subjectivity, citizenship, and society. Representations of Eastern European sexuality, however, were also crucial to both Western and Eastern imaginings of modern “European” selves, politics, and societies, and their boundaries of belonging. Yet while recent scholarship has drawn attention to reemerging European orientalisms and sexuality’s salience in postsocialist politics, particularly in relation to recent postsocialist homophobias, little scholarly attention has been paid to the significance of these histories of European sexual difference for the biopolitical character of current borders of postsocialist difference. In this article I combine postcolonial theories of sexuality, geographies of European belonging, and postsocialist studies of sexual politics to analyze popular, political, and scholarly discourses surrounding sexual politics and homophobia in Hungary. Melding historical debates about Hungarian belonging, discursive analysis, and ethnographic fieldwork, I argue that dominant interpretations of these events constitute postsocialist homophobia as a particularly consequential “problem” reinscribing deeply rooted, and profoundly biopolitical, borders between Europe’s East and West. These readings not only naturalize an imagined West as a space of proper sexual citizenship and tolerance, masking its persistent heteronormativity; they also render Hungary a time–space of complex, ambiguous sexual-political resistance, essentializing its inhabitants as inevitable sexual others of Western Modernity: for some failures of proper sexual citizenship; for others avatars of alternative, sexually-traditional Europeanness.
  • Women‘s and Gender History

    Daskalova, Krassimira; Zimmermann, Susan; Livezeanu, Irina; von Klimó, Árpád; Department of History and Medieval Studies; Department of Gender Studies (Routledge, 2017)
    Since the 1980s, historians working on East Central Europe, as on other parts of the world, have shown that historical experience has been deeply gendered. This chapter focuses on the modern history of women, and on gender as a category of analysis which helps to make visible and critically interrogate “the social organization of sexual difference.” 2 The new history of women and gender has established, as we hope to demonstrate in this contribution, a number of key insights. First, gender relations are intimately related to power relations. Gender, alongside dominant and non-dominant sexualities, has been invoked persistently to produce or justify asymmetrical and hierarchical arrangements in society and culture as a whole, to restrict the access of women and people identifying with non-normative sexualities to material and cultural goods, and to devalue and marginalize their ways of life. Second, throughout history both equality and difference between women and men have typically resulted in disadvantage for women. Men and women have generally engaged in different sociocultural, political and economic activities, and this gender-based division of labor, which has itself been subject to historical change, has tended to put women in an inferior position. Even when women and men appeared as equals in one sphere of life, this perceived equality often resulted in drawbacks or an increased burden for women in another area and women’s contribution was still devalued as compared to men’s.
  • Introduction: Thinking the History of Women’s Activism into Global Labor History

    Betti, Eloisa; Papastefanaki, Leda; Zimmermann, Susan; Betti, Eloisa; Papastefanaki, Leda; Tolomelli, Marica; Zimmermann, Susan; Department of History and Medieval Studies; Department of Gender Studies (CEU PressNew York, 2022)
    Introduction to the book "Women, Work, and Activism: Chapters of an Inclusive History of Labor in the Long Twentieth Century". The thirteen critical and well-documented chapters of "Women, Work, and Activism" examine women’s labor struggle from late nineteenth-century Portuguese mutual societies to Yugoslav peasant women’s work in the 1930s, and from the Catalan labor movement under the Franco dictatorship to workplace democracy in the United States. The authors portray women’s labor activism in a wide variety of contexts including transnational organizing, feminist engagement with men-dominated trade unionism, long-distance migration, and the socialist workplace. The chapters address the involvement of working people in multiple and often unstable labor relations and in unpaid labor, as well as the role of the state and other institutions in shaping the history of women’s labor activism. The book is an innovative contribution to both labor and gender history. It redefines the new labor history by focusing on the gendered political-social history of labor and by fully integrating the conceptual advances made by gender historians in the study of labor activism.
  • Spurring Women to Action? Communist-led Women’s Trade Unionism Between the Hungarian Shop Floor and Top-level Internationalism, 1947 to 1959

    Zimmermann, Susan; Department of History and Medieval Studies; Department of Gender Studies (Taylor & Francis, 2023)
    This exploratory article discusses the politics of promoting women’s trade unionism in Hungary and at the World Federation of Trade Unions from the late 1940s to the late 1950s. It examines the factors that propelled and restricted the development of these politics on, and shaped their travel between, the workplace and the national and international scales. In Hungary, a network of women trade unionists combined their alignment with the political and productivist sides of the project of “building socialism” with activities aimed at the cultural and social “elevation” of women workers and the promotion of their trade unionism. On the international plane, the position of the Central and Eastern European politics of women’s trade unionism was likewise, though very differently, impacted by the emphasis on “building socialism.” Within the women’s politics pursued by the WFTU internationally, the distinctions made between socialist, capitalist, and colonial countries translated into rather restrictive roles envisioned for Central European women’s trade unionism. For a variety of reasons, which were related to all scales of action, the connection between the WFTU’s politics of promoting women’s trade unionism and the activities developed by the Hungarian women trade unionists remained rather weak during the period.
  • The Changing Politics of Women’s Work and the Making of Extended Childcare Leave in State-Socialist Hungary, Europe, and Internationally: Shifting the Scene

    Zimmermann, Susan; Ehmer, Josef; Lentz, Carola; Department of History and Medieval Studies; Department of Gender Studies (De Gruyter OldenbourgBerlin/Boston, 2023)
    In this chapter, I discuss the emergence and expansion of extended childcare leave for working mothers in Hungary and parallel innovations in the international policy-making of the International Labour Organization (ILO). I argue that such a focus on the history of gender, work, and the life course helps us move beyond the amorphous vision of state socialism as a society of full-time workers and allows us to place the history of gender and labour in state-socialist Europe in a broader framework, thereby overcoming the implicit Western European bias in European labour history. The history of state-socialist Europe as a trendsetter for a changing international and European labour and life course regime brings to the fore an array of motivations and trajectories of – in the end – converging social policy reform in East and West as well as internationally which evolved around issues of work and labour. “Thinking together” Western European, Eastern European, and international arguments and actions that informed the introduction of extended childcare leave and related measures makes visible both differences and similarities. The integrative perspective suggested in this chapter points to the limited representation, both on the international stage at the time and in scholarship up to the present day, of Eastern European developments and actors, among them state-socialist trade unions and women trade unionists who, in their own way, aimed to present and represent women workers’ experiences and viewpoints.
  • Dance Around a “Sacred Cow”: Women’s Night Work and the Gender Politics of the Mass Worker in State-Socialist Hungary and Internationally

    Zimmermann, Susan; Bartha, Eszter; Krausz, Tamás; Mezei, Bálint; Department of History and Medieval Studies; Department of Gender Studies (Palgrave Macmillan ChamCham, 2023)
    This chapter explores the struggle over the prohibition of women’s night work in industry that took place in state-socialist Hungary and between Hungary and the International Labour Organization ILO during the 1960s and 1970s. In Hungary, dedicated women trade union functionaries advocated for a gendered policy scheme that called for far-reaching special labor protections to be granted to women workers on social grounds and simultaneously ensured that such protections would not translate into gendered disadvantages. In the context of the Hungarian New Economic Mechanism, this feminist-laborist policy vision was overruled by the politics of transforming the woman worker into an economic being who did not deserve special protection, yet continued to suffer from economic discrimination as compared with men workers. This Hungarian development was part of the broader abandonment of (most) restrictions on women’s night work in state-socialist Central and Eastern Europe. Internationally and at the ILO, this development served as a forerunner to and an indicator of a larger global trend reversal. The old laborist and laborist-feminist dream that woman-specific restrictions would be superseded by equally strict restrictions for both sexes died in the context of European-wide economic liberalization.
  • The agrarian working class put somewhat centre stage: An often neglected group of workers in the historiography of labour in state-socialist Hungary

    Zimmermann, Susan; Department of History and Medieval Studies; Department of Gender Studies (Taylor & Francis, 2017)
    This study discusses a body of scholarship which is little-known internationally, written in Hungary in the period between 1949 and 1989: the historiography on agrarian labour from the eighteenth century to the Second World War. This historiography was conceptually inclusive in that it explored the history of many groups of agrarian workers, the varied types of labour in which they were involved, including long-term contracts, day and servant labour, seasonal migration and non-agricultural forms of labour, the role of agrarian labour in socio-economic development, and the political movement of ‘agrarian socialism’. This historiography for a large part remained embedded in three adjacent research clusters: peasant studies, local and regional history, and the history of the labour movement. This study argues that scholarly approaches and interests, and institutional framings specific to each of these clusters, were of key importance in generating the extensive scholarship that is reviewed. The fact that Hungary had been a dominantly agrarian country before 1945, the Leninist vision of the ‘alliance of the workers and the peasants’ that was to bring about socialism in Eastern Europe and the state-condoned interest in the history of the labour movement and labour more generally were other important factors conducive to, and to various degrees putting their stamp on, this research. Given its findings within a Marxian or classical social-history framing, and its focus on an often neglected group of workers, the historiography on agrarian labour written in state-socialist Hungary deserves to be integrated into the historiographical canon. This study discusses this scholarship against the backdrop of present-day global labour history. In pointing to some of its area-, time- and context-specific characteristics, the study aims to contribute to a global dialogue in labour history that is sensitive to and critically appreciative of different historiographical trajectories and traditions across world regions.
  • Equality of Women's Economic Status? A Major Bone of Contention in the International Gender Politics Emerging During the Interwar Period

    Zimmermann, Susan; Department of History and Medieval Studies; Department of Gender Studies (Taylor & Francis, 2019)
    This study brings together the often disparate scholarship on the League of Nations and the ILO. It follows the interactions between the League, women internationalists, and the ILO, which evolved around the question of woman-specific labor legislation and the equality of women's status. These interactions resulted in a broadening mandate of international gender policies while deepening the institutional and legal distinction between women's ‘political and civil’ as opposed to their ‘economic’ status. The ILO insisted on certain forms of women-specific labor regulation as a means of conjoining progressive gender and class politics, and was anxious to ensure its competence in all matters concerning women's economic status. The gender equality doctrine gaining ground in the League was rooted in a liberal-feminist paradigm which rejected the association of gender politics with such class concerns, and indeed aimed to force back the ILO's politics of gender-specific international labor standards. As a result of the widening divide between the women's policies of the League and the ILO, the international networks of labor women reduced their engagement with women's activism at the League. The developments of the 1930s deepened the tension between liberal feminism and feminisms engaging with class inequalities, and would have problematic long-term consequences for international gender politics.
  • “An Ebbing Tide Lowers all Boats”: How the Great Recession of 2008 has Affected Men and Women in Central and Eastern Europe

    Fodor, Éva; Nagy, Beáta; Department of Gender Studies (CAIRN, 2014)
    In this paper we explore the impact of the economic recession of 2008 on gender inequality in the labor force in Central and Eastern European countries. We argue that job and occupational segregation protected women’s employment more than men’s in the CEE region as well, but unlike in more developed capitalist economies, women’s level of labor force participation declined and their rates of poverty increased during the crisis years. We also explore gender differences in opinions on the impact of the recession on people’s job satisfaction. For our analysis we use published data from EUROSTAT and our own calculations from EU SILC and ESS 2010.
  • Privatization and the postsocialist fertility decline

    Scheiring, Gabor; Hui, Bryant; Irdam, Darja; Azarova, Aytalina; Fodor, Éva; Stuckler, David; Esping-Andersen, Gosta; King, Lawrence; Department of Gender Studies (Political Economy Research Institute, 2020)
    In this article, we analyze the privatization of companies as a potential but so far neglected,factor behind the postsocialist fertility decline. We test this hypothesis using a novel database,comprising information on the demographic and enterprise trajectories of 52 Hungarian towns,between 1989-2006 and a cross-country dataset of 28 countries in Eastern Europe. We fit fixed,and random-effects models adjusting for potential confounding factors and control for time-variant,factors and common trends. We find that privatization is significantly associated with fertility,decline, explaining approximately half of the overall fertility decline across the 52 towns and the 28 countries.
  • Degree and structures of women's labor market integration: The case of Székesfehérvar, Hungary [FLOWS Working Paper]

    Kispeter, Erika; Redai, Dorottya; Fodor, Éva; Jensen, Per H.; Department of Gender Studies (European ParliamentAalborg, 2014)
    The FLOWS project analyses the causes and effects of women’s labour market integration, which is an issue that represents a major challenge for the European Union and its member states, and is supposedly also a precondition for the sustainability of the European social model. The overall aim is to analyse (1) how local welfare systems support women’s labour market participation, as well as (2) the extent to which (and under which conditions) female labour market integration has contributed to the strengthening social cohesion. The project focuses on how public and private welfare services such as care and lifelong learning intended to support women’s labour market integration have been designed; on how women of different classes, qualifications, ethnicities, and geographical locations have grasped and made use of such policies, and on how the increase in women’s labour market integration has affected structures of inequality and social cohesion.
  • Working conditions and gender in an enlarged Europe

    Pollert, Anna; Fodor, Éva; Department of Gender Studies (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working ConditionsDublin, 2005)
    Working conditions and gender in an enlarged Europe presents a comparative study of working conditions for women in 10 central eastern European countries. The countries include eight of the 10 new Member States of the European Union, and two of the candidate countries, Bulgaria and Romania. National research teams provided a wealth of material analysing key dimensions of the labour market and work situation for women during a period of economic transition. This report’s purpose is threefold: to bring together the findings of the national reports; to explore in greater detail the Foundation data in terms of comparison between its 2001 survey of the acceding and candidate countries and 2000 survey of the EU15; and to use the national reports to evaluate the Foundation findings. 
  • The Policy on Gender Equality in Hungary

    Fodor, Éva; Department of Gender Studies (European ParliamentBrussels, 2011)
    This note reviews gender equality legislation and programs in Hungary in several areas of primary importance for both policy makers and women,themselves. These include the field of paid and unpaid labour, the,reconciliation of paid work and care responsibilities, violence against,women, access to political decision making as well as the existence of,gender stereotypes in Hungarian society.
  • Collective resilience and resistance in hybrid times: Gender struggles in Germany, Turkey and Sweden

    Çağatay, Selin; Göker, Zeynep Gülru; Hünler, Olga Selin; Polatdemir, Aslı (Taylor & Francis, 2023-06-22)
    In activist circles, the concept of resilience seems to have captured the spotlight once enjoyed by resistance. Instead of treating resilience as antithetical to resistance, and a discursive neoliberal vehicle that seeks individual solutions to collective problems, this article demonstrates its relationality to resistance in the context of online/offline struggles of feminist and LGBTI + activists challenged by mobilizations against gender and sexual rights. Reflecting on the discussions and outputs of a series of digital workshops involving activists from Germany, Turkey and Sweden, the article investigates from a transnational perspective the meanings and aspects of collective resilience in the anti-gender context, and what resilience entails in the increasing online/offline hybridity of activism. Three themes emerge from this investigation: the connectedness of resistance and resilience across scale and context, the pronouncing of care and support networks as activist resources, and the emergence of the need and efforts to develop new alliances and solidarity structures in the face of the dual challenges of anti-gender mobilizations and neoliberalism. Resistance and resilience are intertwined in gender struggles taking place in the anti-gender context, in that the cultivation of resilience through care networks, the mobilization of positive affect, and the formation of dynamic and flexible solidarities enable and help sustain resistances in the online/offline interface. While online/offline hybridity offers opportunities to develop and sustain individual/collective resources, the article finds, attention should be paid to the processes of exclusion of underprivileged women and queer people in hybrid times.
  • “Millions of working housewives”: The International Co-operative Women’s Guild and household labour in the interwar period

    Tešija, Jelena (Taylor & Francis, 2023-07-04)
    The article focuses on household labour as one of the key agendas of the International Co-operative Women’s Guild (ICWG) and on the contributions Central and Eastern European countries made to this agenda in the interwar period. I argue that ICWG women made household labour a policy issue in its own right and provided space for debates between women of diverse ideological positions coming from different political and economic systems and national contexts. Zooming in on key publications and paying attention to the organizational dynamics and complex relationship between communists and social democrats in the ICWG, I first explore how the ICWG discussed household labour and the solutions it offered to reduce the burden of such work. In the second part of the analysis, I argue that because it was crucial to their work, ICWG women inserted aspects of household labour into international discussions on women’s and/or labour-related issues. By doing so, they tried to 1) establish themselves as experts on household labour-based issues and 2) advance how topics such as popular nutrition and maternal deaths were approached in international settings.
  • “The rulers are the causes of the war […] They are the reason there is no bread in our town”: Women’s food riots in the Hungarian countryside, 1917–1918

    Varsa, Eszter (Taylor & Francis, 2023-06-26)
    The essay discusses women’s food riots in the Hungarian territories of the Habsburg Empire during World War I between spring 1917 and summer 1918. While the existing literature has primarily focused on urban contexts in a variety of European countries, this essay analyses the Hungarian countryside with a focus on small towns and villages where and around which inhabitants were mostly agrarian workers. The agrarian population was especially hard hit by the increasingly coercive wartime economic measures, and especially by the high cost of living and the break-down in food supply. Using archival sources and news reports, the article approaches food riots as a form of labour activism signalling (agrarian) women’s efforts to improve their desperate living and working conditions and, thus, as a local political response to the international and national political and economic crisis that unfolded in the Dual Monarchy shortly before its disintegration during the second phase of the Great War. It pays particular attention to participants’ social/ethnic background, agendas, and repertoires of action, including the antisemitic character of some of the riots and authorities’ reaction to these uprisings. The essay, thus, also examines the interactions between members of local-level (un)organized activism and regional and national governance.

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