Women's Economic Role in Russia
Missing Works Cited
Women in post-Communist Russia face violent crime, high unemployment, low wages and bear most of the responsibility for domestic duties. A colossal rate of alcoholism have given Russia one of the highest proportions of widows of any nation. The vast majority of Russian women must work full time to survive. They are also expected to do the bulk of the cooking, shopping, and childcare. Yet women earn, on average, only 40 percent as much as men and are three times as likely to be unemployed. Violent crime against women, including rape and spousal abuse, has also increased.
Women's participation in paid labor outside the home was one of the defining features of economic life in the former Soviet Union. Levels of women's employment increased rapidly following the introduction of a communist system in 1917. Since 1989, women have comprised 53 percent of the Russian population reflecting the WWII casualties. Women's share of the labor force decreased somewhat after the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, when they comprised 53 percent of the labor force. At 51 percent in 1995, it is still among the highest in the world, and most women continue to be employed outside the home. During the Soviet era (1917-1991), women were employed in all sectors of the economy. Today, as then, some sectors have a proportionately higher share of women than men, such as trade and food services, information, health and social welfare, education, culture and the arts, science, credit, insurance and finance, and state administration. Women's proportion of the labor force in these areas has declined since 1991. The level of accessibility of income-producing occupations for those who desire and are able to work depends first of all on the competitive conditions in the labor market that determine the over-all dynamic of employment. Since the beginning of shock therapy and until the end of 1998, employment had a steady downward trend, but it started to increase after the crisis was
surmounted. According to data from R.F. Goskomstat, in 1992-1998 the number of employed dropped from 72 million to 63 million people, and the number of unemployed (according to the definition of the International Labor Organization) rose from 4 million to 9 million, but these values had been 65.1 million and 8.7 million people, respectively, as early as November of 1999. During a period of economic decline, the employment of women declined more quickly than the employment of men (19.3 and 17.9 percent over 1992-98), but the expansion that has begun has made it possible to increase the number of female employees to a greater extent, and the gain in employment among women has been twice that of men. Nevertheless, the number of unemployed women rose by a factor of 2.2, and men by 2.4, over this period. This is explained by the fact that when there is a decline in demand for labor power, some able-bodied citizens...