Much has been written on the dramatic developments within central and eastern Europe since 1989. These changes had not been 'prepared for' in the sense that no, or very little, policy preparation had taken place. The rejection of the previous economic and political structures entailed some rejection of social policies and legislation that had played a role in mitigating the worse excesses of women's stressful lives - support for creches, nurseries, incentives (fmancial and otherwise) for working mothers. Many of the ideas concerning 'free-market democracy' remain at the level of imagination and the increasing moves towards more market-oriented societies have raised fears and questions concerning the strains which will be placed on people's everyday lives. The gender-specific nature of many of these social changes is just beginning to be realized. The changing conceptualizations and perceptions of women's roles in society and consequences for gender relations will form expanding areas of research in the coming years.