The Effect of Stalin's Policies on Women & Children

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Before Stalin:

  • Lenin's Bolsheviks had rejected marriage as a bourgeouis institution and tried to liberate women from the ******* of children and family. 
  • Lenin had made divorce easier.
  • By the end of the 1930s the Soviet divorce rate was the highest in Europe.
  • In the 2 years after 1917, decrees had introduced such innovations as:
    • legal divorce if either partner requested it
    • recognition of illegitimate children as full citizens
    • legalising of abortion
    • the state to be responsible for the raising of children
  • There was an attack on book learning and academic subjects. 
  • Young people were encourage to learn trades.

Stalin's standpoint:

  • Disagreed with Bolshevik social policy and began to stress traditional family values. 
  • He let it be known that he disapproved of the free love movement that had been prevalent during the Bolsheviks' reign. 
  • Emphasised that the duties of parenthood and family life were important in being a good Communist.
  • Aimed to modernise the population by making them literate, particularly the young.

Reasons for his standpoint:

  • Aware of the social upheaval his modernisation programme was causing, Stalin was trying to create some form of balance by promoting traditional vales and attaching to women the role of home-makers and child-raisers.
  • There were a large number of orphaned children living on the streets in urban areas, who were the result of the growth in illegitimacy that came from the greater amount of


Naomi Magnus



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