Lecture “Why Women Protest: Findings from the Revolution of Dignity”
Presenter: Dr. Olena Nikolayenko
Associate Professor of Political Science, Fordham University
September 29, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Women played a pivotal role in the Revolution of Dignity held in Ukraine from November 2013 to February 2014. This revolution, also dubbed the EuroMaidan, was initially triggered by President Viktor Yanukovych’s abrupt refusal to sign a free trade agreement with the European Union, but it rapidly encompassed a wider range of political demands and attracted a cross-cutting coalition of citizens in favor of social change. Over the span of three months, women disseminated protest-related information, developed an extensive network of volunteers, offered legal assistance for detained protesters, organized public lectures and documentary screenings inside the encampment, coordinated the provision of medical supplies, and distributed food. Based upon in-depth interviews with female revolutionaries, this study examines motivations for women’s engagement in high-risk activism. This research contributes to comparative democratization literature by underscoring women’s participation in a revolution.