Women in belarus

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Zulevsky felt safe for the first time in weeks of anti-government unrest in Belarus: He was surrounded by hundreds of women he knew would shield him. Zulevsky, as fellow protesters, many holding red and white flags, the banner of the opposition, chanted at a rally last month. In a country whose strongman president, Aleksandr. That effort may be flagging, with Mr. Lukashenko refusing to give up power even though tens of Women in belarus of people continue to come out to the streets of Minsk to protest every weekend.

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On Saturday many women, holding flowers in their hands, again protested in the city. They avoided forming a single crowd in fear of being arrested by police officers. But whether or not the protest movement succeeds in ousting Mr. Lukashenko, it has already shattered deeply entrenched gender stereotypes built up over generations.

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Kotes, a film production deer and activist. The collapse began even before an Aug. Lukashenko claimed to have won by a landslidesetting off two months of almost nonstop protests.

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To his obvious distaste, Mr. Lukashenko faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from a woman candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskayathe wife of a popular blogger who had hoped to run himself but was imprisoned Women in belarus he could register as a candidate. Lukashenko mocked his rival as a housewife, a meek mother ill-equipped to debate serious issues of state with a veteran leader like himself. Lukashenko said in an interview shortly before the election.

Adding to his rage and, perhaps, consternation, was the fact that the opposition, ly led by men and prone to bitter internal feuding, had united around three women — Ms. Tikhanovskaya, whom they backed as the candidate; Veronika Tsepkalo, the wife of a would-be candidate who fled the country to avoid arrest; and Maria Kolesnikova, the campaign manager for Viktor Babariko, a jailed banker who had also hoped to challenge Mr.

With all the main male opposition figures knocked out of the race by arrest or flight abroad, Ms. Tikhanovskaya and her two colleagues ran a strategic and successful campaignholding large rallies across the country while Mr. Lukashenko confined himself to Soviet-style visits to factories and military bases. Tsepkalo, 44, said in an interview. The emergence of women in the protest movement — while surprising to many and, to Mr. Olga Shparaga, a feminist and lecturer in philosophy at the European College of Liberal Arts in Belarus, said the shortage of males left women to play an outsize role in rebuilding the devastated country once the war ended in Memories of this, she said, left even the most misogynistic Belarusians aware, deep down, of what women could accomplish.

Wartime memories have been kept alive and introduced to younger Belarusians with no recollection of the war Women in belarus its aftermath by Svetlana Alexievich, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, who has made the role of women one of the main topics of her work. Alexievich said in her Nobel lecture in But it is perhaps Mr. Lukashenko himself who, inadvertently, has done more than anyone to advance the cause of feminism.

Lukashenko has sneered at women with such abandon that he has become a caricature of boorish misogyny and an easy target for attack. Sergei Chaly, a Belarusian political and economic analyst who worked with Mr. Lukashenko at the beginning of his political career in the s, said Ms. That appealed to voters wary of the dominating and masculine Women in belarus presented by Mr. Lukashenko throughout his 26 years in power. Chaly said.

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After their leading role in the campaign it was only natural that women would step up in the protests that broke out after Mr. Lukashenko claimed an implausible 80 percent of the vote in Women in belarus Aug. In the days that followed, the streets of the capital, Minsk, became a perilous conflict zone.

Thousands of protesters, mostly men, were arrested, and hundreds were beaten and tortured. With the country in danger of sliding into violent strife as groups of aggressive young men appeared on the streets calling for revenge, women again took center stage. A small group of women activists organized a protest so conspicuously peaceable that, they calculated, even the most brutish riot police officer Women in belarus hesitate to use force. Hundreds of women descended hand-in-hand on the central market in Minsk, forming a human chain that left the police clearly baffled about how they should respond.

Beating unarmed women publicly risked embarrassing the law enforcement apparatus and opening up officers not only to public condemnation but perhaps even punishment by their superiors. Lukashenko, who was counting that brute force would be enough to crush the protests, was thrown off balance and sought help from President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. The immediate answer was to isolate the women leading the protests and drive them out of the country. More recently, masked police officers, many of them visibly embarrassed, have made mass arrests of women demonstrators.

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But most of those taken into custody were released after fingerprinting and a mug shot. Even the leaders, like Ms. Sukhiy, were sentenced to only several days of administrative arrest. Fyodorova, 47, an entrepreneur and activist, of the security forces. Tikhanovskaya said the role women have played in the uprising was as determined as it was unexpected. An East-West Flare-Up.

Women in belarus

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The “Women in White” and Belarus’ Emerging Women’s Movement