- Created by: Lottie
- Created on: 14-05-12 15:24
During the 190s Stalin introduced policies affecting women, the family and education. Trotsky thought that these policies were more traditional than those promoted by the communists in the 1920s and therefore he labelled Stalin’s social policy the ‘great retreat’. In terms of policy towards the family and education. Trotsky’s description was entirely correct. However, in terms of policy towards women the description is too simplistic.
In many ways, Stalin’s social policy did signal a ‘great retreat’ for women. Under Lenin, women had enjoyed state-provided childcare, the right to abortion on demand and the right to divorce their husbands. Under Stalin, however, women were forced to adopt to more traditional roles housewives and mothers. For example, communist party guidelines states that women were expected to run a ‘well ordered communist home’ and during the 1930s women spent 5 times longer on household duties, such as cooking and cleaning, than men. In addition, the communist party introduced rewards for women with large families. Women who had seven children received 2,000 roubles a year for 5 years, while mothers with 11 children received 5,000 roubles a year for the same period. In 1936, the government also criminalised abortion in all cases except those where the mother’s life was in danger.
In spite of these measures, there was…