In the late 1980’s discussions over women’s role in political, social, and economical was hardly made regarding the changes in the countries. Interestingly, the first highlighting was made by ‘Perestroika’ in the Soviet Union, and since then, economical reform throughout Eastern Europe was being thoroughly analysed. With the significant research of feminists, the role of women has dynamically turned into a positive perspective where societies used to have taken a second look abou it. Thus women have slowly been a part of the examinations and identified as dynamic individuals towards changes. Simultaneously, there has been major carelessness of comparative evaluation of men and women, and as a result of this, Eastern Europe experienced revolutions rooted by cultural and religious identity conflicts.
The Helsinki Conference – 1991, however, pointed out the attention of women’s role in society under capitalism. During this conference, Valentine M. Moghadam, author of Democratic Reform & the Position of Women in Transitional Economies, highlighted the level of impact of women in Central and Eastern Europe. Her main arguments enforced with political, economic and social reforms prior to the Soviet Union. She argued that women’s rights can be seen as a measure of the level of democracy and social achievements as well as socialists and feminists.(!) Sharon Wolchcik, another professor of Central & Eastearn European politics professor from the University of Michigan, also questioned the role of women during the collapse of communism and she focused more on how women participated to democratic and economic life. According to Wolchcik, solution lies in the communist era when women took over education and employment. However, one thing that refuses to change was the *division* of it between man and women in family life. Moreover, she supported that young mothers were forced to stay at home until their children reached the age of three.. Another opinion comes from sociologist Barbara Einhorn about gender and political change who also support the views of Wolchick and suggests that we should not be misguided from the past. The main arguments are about the representations of women in the field of politics.
Another considerable point is about the female role in European economy has transitioned to a market economy. In fact, women’s involvement in the economic reform resulted with a negative outcome. Take the situation in Hungary and Poland which are provides evidence that women are more likely to remain unemployed for a longer period of time.. However, according to authors of Women & Economy: A Reader: Ellen Mutari and Deborah M. Figart, (pg 6, section 1) women in the economy are best described as: “Feminist economics is also not about fender-mental differences between men and women economists and therefore does not hold the view that women economists do economics in a different way from men economists do, or even that women economists have a special pipeline to understanding women’s economic situation”. Women and feminists alike, argue the importance of gender equality within the employment sector. Caroline Sweetman who is a professor gender & development criticize the women’s role as workers which their skills reflects in their low wages and low bargaining power. When analysts reviewed the policy of womens wages they informed the policy-makers to reconsider salary. However this appeal was quickly rejected and it let to low householder incomes. This causes major inequality within gender and development. At the same time its important to highlight the contributions of men and women within economy. Furthermore, developed the tools needed to make this happen. This entirely relies on stronger efforts made identify gender equality as a key subject in economic development. The fact that women and men have differences about their natural abilities, social norms and institutions. Feminist economists also highlighted different value attributed by society to men and women. Also feminist economists attributed to unpaid work which included domestic tasks such as childcare, cleaning etc. All of this unpaid works depend to having a child to keep this going on. Also Amartya Sen pointed out the people should forget to traditional stereotypes of man being breadwinner. It causes the value of women to be significantly reduced and undermines their contribution to the household and society as a whole. Society has expectation of women when it comes to their role such as nursing, catering taking on the position of secretary and admin.