Both governments and international donors now increasingly recognise women’s organisations as key actors in the promotion of women’s rights, democracy, and citizenship. Yet they remain, on the whole, poorly equipped for this role. The precarious, under-funded, and short-term existence of most women’s organisations does not equate with a flourishing civil society. If women’s organisations are to have more impact, they and their sponsors need to develop a longer view. This article focuses on the author’s experience of capacity-building work with four women’s organisations in Poland. Here, women’s citizenship and rights are being promoted in the context of neo-liberal economic policies.
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