Soviet Family Code And Women Essay

930 words - 4 pages

Reproductive rights and daycare became capital in soviet society as more and more women were entering the workforce and receiving an education. The direct influence of the early Soviet Rule on women’s employment was modest as the foundations for the professionalization of women had been laid on decades before the October 1917 Revolution. Furthermore, the two World Wars greatly impacted women employment by opening up new fields for them.
The Industrial Revolution of the end of the nineteenth century marked the first massive entry of women in the industrial workforce. Indeed, they provided “an inexpensive supply of unskilled labor” (Lapidus 1978). Women primarily worked in the industry, with ...view middle of the document...

Women’s education once reserved to the elite of the empire democratized in the early 20th century: “The proportion of women of peasant background had grown from 7 percent (in 1882, editor’s note) to 25 percent (in 1914, editor’s note), and of worker, craftsmen, and merchant families from 22.8 percent to 35.2 percent” (Lapidus 1978). Therefore, one can conclude that even before the October Revolution, education had become more and more accessible.
The expansion of women’s education required more women teachers because of the segregated nature of the system. Therefore, teaching became the major female dominated field. For instance, in 1950/51, women teachers were 999 000 represented 70% of teachers in day schools.
The introduction of the New Economic Policy in 1921, characterized by a contraction of the economy saw a stagnation of women employment as males who returned from the front got their jobs back and state investments in welfare programs decreased. The percentage of women in the labor force went form 25% in 1922 to 24% in 1928 (Heitlinger 1979). The employment of women exploded after the inauguration of the First Five Year Plan in 1928 and collectivization. Indeed, between 1928 and 1955, the part of women in labor force rose from 24% to 46%. The political rule encouraged this trend by having the People’s Comissariat of Labor published two lists of professions reserved for women (Lapidus 1978). World War II and its amazingly high number of casualties accelerated this pattern (“in 1945, the proportion of women in the modern sector had reached an all-time high of 56 percent” (Lapidus 1978)).
Despite the effect of the two World Wars on women’s employment and the educational opportunities available to females before the October Revolution, the influence of Soviet legislation should not be neglected as it freed women from the religious and marital yoke preventing some of them to get an...

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