Family life, education and the role of women

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  • Family life, education and the role of women
    • At first, the Bolshevik frowned on marriage, saying it exploited women. They made it easier for women to get a divorce, they made abortion easier, and encouraged people to live together.
    • Not much of this affected life in the countryside, where people remained very traditional.
    • There was lots of orphans and widows because of the First World War and the Civil War. In the chaos of the time families were often spilt and had to manage the best they could.
    • In the towns single workers often lived in barracks, crowded in together. Families - usally three generations - often had to live in one room due to a severe shortage of living accomidation.
    • Women found themselves increasingly required to work, but also having to look after the family too - queue for food, cook, clean. In Leningrad by 1937 women made up 50% of the workforce.
    • By 1936 new laws were introduced to try to strengthen family ties. Divorce was made much more difficult - and expensive - and abortion illegal.
    • Creches were introduced at most work places to make it easier for women to work.
    • Financial inducements were made to encourage larger families. Indeed the birth rate did increase in the later 1930's.


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