Women and Social Citizenship in Czech Society: Continuity and Change
The critical attention feminists have paid to the concept of citizenship has significantly contributed to the contemporary political imagination of citizenship. In this book the authors from the Czech Republic follow up on the feminist debate on citizenship and examine the institutional contexts, ideologies and practices that have shaped opportunities for and barriers to the full citizenship of women in various socio-economic, ethnic and national groups in the communist and postcommunist contexts and specifically in Czech society since the end of the Second World War. This book challenges the static descriptions of the position of women and gender relations in the communist societies of Central and Eastern Europe. The authors point out the differences in the discourse and institutions surrounding work and care and in actual work and care practices during the forty years of the communist regime. The individual chapters in the book identify specific periods under the communist regime and after 1989 that were distinct in terms of how women’s labour market participation, work-life balance, care politics, the position of lone parents, Roma families and foreigners were framed. Moreover, the continuity of discourse, practices, and institutions before and after 1989 is highlighted, demonstrating how difficult it is for cultural and institutional changes to take place even when an important systemic change has occurred in society.