borozdina, ekaterina

The Russian “Maternity Capital” Benefit: Outcomes for Gender Equality

During the last decade Russian politics have aimed at stimulating the birth rate, most famously by the Maternity Capital Program. This program provides mothers with a substantial amount of money for legally predefined purposes, when the second (or subsequent) child in a family has turned 3 years old. And it is one of the most discussed and ambiguous measures of contemporary Russian family policy.

In 2011 the Gender Studies Program at the European University at. St. Petersburg conducted a sociological research aimed at investigating, how this reform really works on micro level, how it influences family reproductive strategies and what outcomes it has for the gender order. Results of this research project are reflected in the following presentation.

 I will discuss how the maternity capital benefit is connected with gender roles and class divisions in family and society. Especially, I am interested in the issues of whether maternity capital, aimed specifically at mothers, actually can empower women and how it affects gender equality. Results also show how institutional barriers impede on the efficiency of the program and which practices families of different social backgrounds resort to in order to overcome bureaucratic obstacles. While the research was focused on the use of the maternity capital, I also will present some statements on how Russian family policy is more generally assessed by its addresses.

Thursday 25 October 15:15-16:45 Panels V, Panel 13 Gender - Equality (Hall 8)