Women under Tsars/Lenin/Stalin

Alexander II

  • When was the first women’s non-vocational secondary school set up? (A2’s Education reform) 1870
  • Who was head of education? What two things did he do?(Policy change from reform to reaction) (A2) Tolstoy. Veto uni appointments, choose to appt male staff. Allowed Moscow women uni lectures
  • “Legally, both sexes were nearly equal” Whittaker: but only for widows as wives had to legally subordinate to husbands. DId have right to own property
  • Women could not hold public office
  • “All over Russia people were talking of education” Kropotkin (including Women)
  • 1856: Pirogov essay on non-existent secondary education of women- wanted to educate mothers to educate humanity
  • By 1881: girls secondary schools 336, enrolling 69,700. 45% of enrollment female: 2nd in the world!!
  • 1864- 60 female students @ St P’s medical-surgical academy
  • After 1863 Polish rebellion, even discussion of women’s question was curtailed in the press
  • Trubnikova Circle 1850/60: organised socities with gov endorsement, living accomdation, and work for poor working women: gov repression broke it up by 1863
  • After Emancipation only jobs avaiable to EDUCATED women were governess, school teacher, midwife
  • Shuvalov resistant to women’s education: saw it as seditious
  • FINISH THIS: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1877817?seq=11#page_scan_tab_contents PG 45
  • Special lecture programmes for women
  • The People’s Will, is estimated to have had several hundred female members, the most famous of whom, Sofia Perovskaia (1854-1881), organized and then participated in the assassination of Alexander II in 1881.


Alexander III

  • How much of the industrial workforce made up by women….1885….1914? (social change russia 1914) 1/5 vs 1/3
  • Mortality rate stats for peasants/agriculture? (social change alexander2 alexander3) Compare to ENgland? 27 y/o male, 29 women. CF England 45.
  • Special lecture programmes for women wiped out: Did not want higher education for women

Nicholas II

  • Uni students increased from what to do what>? How many of them women? (social change russia 1914) 5000 to 69,000. 45%
  • Women earned ______(social change russia 1914) Less than half of avg wage
  • How much of the industrial workforce made up by women….1885….1914? (social change russia 1914) 1/5 vs 1/3
  • When was the first All Russian Congres of Women? How many? Wanted what? (social change russia 1914) Dec 1908. 1035. Vote
  • by the late 1890s, hundreds of young women were earning a college education in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Secondary and primary education for women grew as well during the late nineteenth century. N2 approved of women education


  • Overall, what was situation regarding the status of women according to Corin?
    (Continuity) (impact of communist rule on SOCIETY 1918-28)  “Women cared and supported. Men built socialism” Some equality…but trad roles remained
  • What was the result of the easiness of divorce? (Changes) (impact of communist rule on SOCIETY 1918-28) Women abandoned when pregnant
  • What was the new role for women? (Changes) (impact of communist rule on SOCIETY 1918-28) Job. Help them run homes. 
  • By the 1920’s, how long were proleterian women working for?
    (Continuity) (impact of communist rule on SOCIETY 1918-28) 8 hr working day // 5 hours domestic // men did not help (Continuity) (impact of communist rule on SOCIETY 1918-28)
  • What happened to womens jobs? (How well was NEP working by end of 1928) Lost them after Red Army was disbanded- going from skilled to unskilled work


  • By 1929, how did the % of women in industrial labour compared to 1913 levels?
    (Continuity) (impact of communist rule on SOCIETY 1918-28) Women as % of industrial labour remained the same
  • By 1936, how many women workers? (cultural revolution women) 9m women workers
  • What was started under Lenin, yet abolished in 1930 because it’s work was done?
    (cultural revolution women) Zhenotdel: PROPAGANDA, not egaltarian society
  • By 1939, describe illiteracy in men? Women? Why? (Stalin) (4FYP) 4% men
    18% women. Compulsory educ
  • In Leningrad, 1935, how much of the labour force did women make up? Whilst they were…(5 year plan) 44% LESS PAID
  • Out of 328 factory directors, how many were women? (5 year plan) 20women
  • What was the Housewives movement of 1936? (cultural revolution women) Wives of high ranking industrialistis aimed to improve workers conditions and to ciivlised taste
  • Which professions did women dominate? (5 year plan) Medicine and school teaching
  • How many women were head doctors? (5 year plan) 4 only
  • How did Hosking describe the benefits of “female emancipation”?
    (cultural revolution women) Female emancipation formed “Stalinist neo-patriarchal social system” e.g women help build society too
  • How did Hosking describe the many roles of women? How did they cope with these roles? (5 year plan) “double burden” have less children

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