The Soviet woman can be compared to a matryoshka. Like a nesting doll, the Soviet woman has a tough exterior, yet she is beautiful. Inside she has many different pieces that she is responsible for. It is her obligation to the secure the household, raise the children, cook, clean, while maintaining a job. Her ability to balance all of these responsibilities and uphold the “pieces” makes the woman a true Soviet woman.
The Soviet Union was revolutionary in regards to women’s rights. It achieved exceptional successes in bringing women into the construction of the state. The Revolution of 1917 removed all the legal restrictions that had placed women in an inferior position and recognized their equality with men. It also promised to provide them with economic employment on an equal basis with men. In the first Soviet Constitution of 1918, Article 22 stated the equality of all citizens (regardless of sex, nationality or race) in the republic. In addition, Article 64 granted women the right to elect or be elected to the Soviets on an equal standing as men (Schuster 260) . Based on Friedrich Engels’ postulate, when the means of production became collective property there would be complete equality of men and women; however equality in law did not always suggest equality in life (Schwartz 68) . Vladimir Lenin sought to defend the Soviet government’s legitimacy in its early years by proclaiming, “In the course of two years of Soviet power in one of the most backward countries of Europe more has been done to emancipate women, to make her an equal of the ‘strong’ sex, than has been done during the past 130 years by all the advanced, enlightened, ‘democratic’ republics of the world taken together.” (Warshofsky Lapidus 58) . He emphasized ...
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Kurganoff, I. A. Women in the U.S.S.R.. London Ontario, Canada: Zaria, 1971. 39-149. Print.
Posadskaya, Anastasia. Women in Russia: A New Era in Russian Feminism. New York, New York: Verso, 1994. 62. Print.
Schuster, Alice. "Women's Role in the Soviet Union: Ideology and Reality." Russian Review 30.3 (1971): 260-267. Web. 1 May 2011.
Schwartz, Janet S. "Women under Socialism: Role Definitions of Soviet Women." Social Forces 58.1 (1979): 67-88. Web. 29 April 2011.
"Soviet Medals." The Soviet Military Awards Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 April 2011.
Warshofsky Lapidus, Gail. Women in Soviet Society: Equality, Development, and Social Change. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 1978. 58-155. Print.
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