Women and the family 1953 - 85 (The Family under Brezhnev (Declining rate…
Women and the family 1953 - 85
How much progress had been made?
influence in politics remained very limited as policies affecting women were largely decided by men.
Despite gaining equality under law, women in soviet society lagged behind men
In reality Industrial workers were male and agricultural workers were female.
Women could excel, but in areas that were restricted
Improvements in employment and social provision helped raise their material well being but they were still expected to do the majority of household chores.
Khrushchev and Brezhnev years
Abortion was legalised again in 1955 and continue to be used as a form of contraception.
Internal passports were extended to collective farm workers enabling some women to move into the towns. But opportunity was more likely to be taken up by young men.
Healthcare and maternity benefits were extended to the countryside.
Family under Khrushchev
The 'stable society'
Women were expected to care for the family, look after the household and undertake paid employment. By 1960 49% of the workforce was female.
Much of the stability 1953 – 64 was because of Khrushchev’ promotion of the traditional family as a social unit.
In many cases grandmothers would take over childcare.
The Family under Brezhnev
Declining rate of population growth put extra pressure on the economically productive members of the family.
1970 Average family was 2.4 children.
1959 Average family was 2.9 children.
Early 1980’s there were calls for differentiated family allowances to encourage bigger families
1968 The Family Code – was a reinforcement of traditional values concerning divorce.
They discussed ‘birth incentives’.
shortage of housing put a strain on family relationships.
Alcoholism undermined the family creating high levels of domestic abuse and divorce. Many young men grew up without a male role model.
1982 – The average Soviet adult consumed 18 litres of spirits per year (nearly double the figure for 1970).
Health campaigners warned against abusing alcohol, but there was never a shortage of cheap vodka in the shops