Women in Russia and their involvement in social struggles, protests and in the class struggle

Vasilina Fedorova, member of Central Committee, Communist Workers’ Party of Russia


Why do we have a concept of women’s movement in the world today?

This is due to the fact that while the family is a unit of the social life and private property conditions prevail, the reproductive function and the birth makes a woman dependent and not as free as a man. This is also due to exploitation and inequality, inherent to the capitalist society, which firstly affect women.

Why is Russia where the women’s movement strives to find answers to its crucial questions?

The reason is the same as in case of the labour movement. Russia made a leap forward, into socialism, and had a period of living under socialist conditions – in conditions of eliminating the exploitation of man by man and its consequences. Socialism in its development liberates the woman from many day-to-day housekeeping duties, paving the way for her own development, for the development of her social and humanistic demands. World women’s movement therefore devotes much attention to the women from Russia. We should therefore give answers to many questions of the women’s movement.

1. 1. History of the birth and of the development of the women’s movement in Russia

1.1. The birth of the women’s movement in Russia, the role of women in the revolutionary movement

The women’s movement in Russia set out in the 1859–1861 crisis as part of Russian social movement of the educated layers at the time the serfdom was dismissed. Its specific features in Russia were due to the special way of Russian historical development. The demands of political and civil freedoms that were characteristic for the women’s movement in the West, but in the conditions of autocratic Russia they were part of general democratic movement demands.

On the one hand, this has greatly limited the demands of the women’s movement in Russia. On the other hand, this became the reason of women’s active participation in the liberation movement starting from the stage when civil categories existed in Russia. At that time, the women’s movement was developing mainly amongst the women of the privileged classes, it was mainly like a bourgeois enlightenment movement and was a type of feminism of that time. However, a large influence on the society of the democratic printing (Kolokol, Sovremennik, Russkoe Slovo, Iskra, plus, at a later stage, Otechestvennye zapiski, Delo, etc.), and the proximity of many women activists to the revolutionary circles at the time brought socialist elements into the women’s movement. The demands for the equality of political rights for women arose later – only during the 1905–1907 Revolution. Starting with the with the proletarian stage of the liberation movement in late 19th Century, the movement of working women arises and becomes part of the labour movement and the vanguard of the women’s movement.

The first cell of the women’s movement in Russia was the women’s circle led by M. V. Trubnikova, that took part in the foundation of Sunday schools in St. Petersburg. The Women’s Triumvirate composed of N. V. Stasova, M. V. Trubnikova and A. P. Filosofova has become the initiative centre of the women’s movement for many years. In 1859, the “society of cheap flats and other benefits to the inhabitants of St. Petersburg in need,” a charity (first headed by M. V. Trubnikova), was established. Workshops, public kitchens, schools and kindergartens were later formed around it. A. N. Elgelgardt, the wife of a renowned chemist and agronomist, started working as a seller at the bookstore; this was regarded as an outstanding event.

Women from petty-bourgeois circles and lower aristocratic layers become translators, bookbinders, typesetters, their role in journalism is growing. The first women’s workshops related to revolutionary organisations open – the book-binding shops owned by V. I. Pechatkina and V. A. Inostrantseva in St. Petersburg, the sewing shop of Ivanov sisters in Moscow and so on. In 1863, Izdatel’skaya Artel’ (Editors’ Enterprise), a society of women translators, was founded, as a co-operative, on the initiative of Trubnikova & Stasova and operated till 1871. The involvement of women from intelligentsia in public labour created the conditions for their economic independence. The strive to get free from husband’s care, coupled with the complications in cancelling a marriage registered by church, resulted in the growth of civil ‘partnership’ between a man and a woman. Starting with 1860’s, the formal marriages became common, aimed at getting independence from parents. The housing communes played a major role in liberating women from family oppression, the Znamenskaya commune (St. Petersburg) headed by V. A. Sleptsov was the most well-known.

Education for women was on the agenda, and an important part of that struggle was when young women attended, on a free-style basis, St. Petersburg University (1859–1861) and Medical Surgery Academy (1862–1864). N. I. Corsini (Utina), E. I. Corsini (Viskovatova), M. A. Bogdanova (Bykova), A. P. Blummer (Kravtsova), M. A. Bokova (Sechenova), N. P. Suslova (Erisman), E. F. Tolstaya (Yunge), M. M. Korkunova (Manasseina) were amongst the first women students. Most of them took part in the revolutionary movement in 1860’s. Later they became prominent public activists. In 1868, upon the initiative of Trubnikova, Filosofova and Stasova, an appeal was submitted to the rector of St. Petersburg University that around 400 women signed, to allow women to be admitted as full-time students. In 1869 the courses on the gymnasium curricula were opened (Alarchin courses in St. Petersburg and Lubyanka courses in Moscow), those courses were preparatory. With the support of 43 professors (A. N. Beketov, D. I. Mendeleev, A. S. Famintsyn, I. M. Sechenov, A. P. Borodin and others), a consent of the Minister of Enlightment was obtained to open the women’s courses to go through the university programme (the Vladimir courses in St. Petersburg that began in January 1870). The higher education for women in Russia has its origin the V. I. Gerye’s Higher Courses for Women (1872, Moscow) and Bestuzhev’s Higher Courses for Women (1878, St. Petersburg).

In late 19th Century, a number of women’s charity organisations were established: Young women workers’ care charity (est. 1897), the “Society to Improve the Equality of Women” that held the First all-Russian Congress on Women’s Education in December 1912 in St. Petersburg. That is, as the revolutionary movement was developing in Russia, the women’ movement, being just as a feminist movement initially, was becoming more and more class conscious.

The day of women workers – the International Women’s Day – was celebrated in Russia on 9th of March 1913 for the first time. In 1914, Rabotnitsa (“a  Worker”) journal was established. The editorial board was comprised of N. K. Krupskaya, I. F. Armand, A. I. Elizarova-Ulyanova and others.

On February 23 (March 8) 1917, the working women took to the streets of Petrograd to protest against famine and war. This protest started the February 1917 bourgeois-democratic revolution. In August 1917, the Moscow regional bureau of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (Bolshevik), a commission was established to address the issues of the working women.

1.2. The role of women in constructing the socialist state. Achievements of socialism

The victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution opened the way to resolve the woman issue in Russia drastically. The women’s movement became a workers’ and peasants’ movement aimed at supporting the socialist movement, the defense of the socialist motherland, the involvement of all women into political and social activity. In November 1918, in Moscow, on the initiative of I. F. Armand, A. M. Kollontai, K. N. Samoilova, the First All-Russian Congress of working women and peasants was called where V. I. Lenin spoke. The Congress defined the women’ place in the struggle for socialism and laid the ogranizational bases of the women’s movement in Soviet conditions. Women’ departments were established within central and local party structures.

The Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) program adopted by the 8th Party Congress in 1919 proclaimed that the party in its activities stands not only to formal, based on Law, but actual suffrage for women striving to help them take away routine household work and be active in all areas of a new society. The Party guaranteed government protection for mothers and children. The 9th Party Congress stressed the necessity for the industrial and agricultural women workers to be involved in socialist construction. The agendas of the 11th, 12th, and 13th Party Congresses also included women movement issues. Meetings of delegates were the basic form of the women’s movement. They were organized at the enterprises, while for ‘housewives’, they were formed on the basis of local Soviets. In the Middle Asia and on the Caucasus, the Movement had to overcome great difficulties. Of special help was the Resolution of the CPSU (Bolsheviks) Organising Committee “On the Immediate Tasks of Work with Women-Workers, Women-Peasants and Employed Women in the East” (December 1924). Alongside with meetings of delegates many other organizational forms emerged: women’s clubs, co-working areas named “Red Corners”, etc. These cultural units allowed women to learn literacy, receive medical consultations, learn ABC of culture. Women’s clubs brought up the first activists who joined the party, enrolled on the RABFAC courses (the system of colleges for workers) and received recommendations and vouchers of employment at industrial enterprises. In 1926, the First All-Union meeting of the women’s clubs’ employees was held. The publicity of Soviet Women’s movement in the periodic print was widely reflected. Women’s magazines were established; Kommunistka (“Communist Woman”, 1920), Krestianka (“Peasant Woman”, 1922), Rabotnista (“Woman Worker”, 1923), Delegatka (“Woman Delegate”, 1923), Obshchestvennitsa (“Woman Activist”, 1936).

The Second All-Union Congress of women workers and peasants convened in October 1927, where an increase of women’s activity in all areas of socialist construction, the growth of their political consciousness. The number of women delegates of congresses of Soviets representing various areas of Russia and their subdivisions (Volosts, Uyezd and the Governorate) between 1922–1927, grew 3 to 8 times. In 1927, the first All-Union congress of women workers and women peasants, members of Soviets, was held. In 1931, an All-Union meeting on the women labour was held. The collectivisation of agriculture resulted in the growth of women’s movement in the countryside. Kolkhoz women workers delegates’ meetings, women’s consultations on production at the Village Soviets and Kolkhozes were held. In 1933, a movement of housewives activists for culture in production and at home, which aimed at involving large numbers of housekeeping women in productive and social activities. One of the methods of women’s movement in 1930’s  was the mastering by women of trades that were previously considered masculine – P. N. Angelina & P. N. Kavardak, tractor drivers; Z. P. Troitskaya and others, train drivers. On the initiative of V. S. Khetagurova, the young Soviet women (‘Khetagurovists’) got actively involved in the process of exploration of the Far East. In 1936, the all-Union meetings of wives was held, representing wives of the Soviet administration personnel, of the heavy industry engineers and technical workers, and of the Red Army commanders.

In the years preceding the War, the Soviet women got actively involved in the international women’s democratic movement. In 1934, the Soviet women took part in the World women’s congress against the war and fascism. E. D. Stasova was one of the organisers of this congress. The congress established the International women’s committee.

During the Great Motherland War of 1941–1945, as men left for the front line, millions of Soviet women replaced them in various sectors of economy. Over 1 million kolkhoz women workers masters the skills of tractor drivers, harvester drivers, mechanics. Over 200 thousand women became brigadiers and the chairpersons in kolkhozes. Over 1 million women took part in the battles against the fascist invaders at the front and in the partisan detachments. On September 7, 1941, the 1st anti-fascist women’s rally was held in Moscow which adopted the Appeal to Women throughout the Globe, which called to intensify the struggle against fascism and create a united front of struggle against Hitlerism. In September 1941, the Anti-fascist Committee of Soviet Women was established (the Committee of Soviet Women since 1956, publishing the Soviet Woman magazine since 1945). On May 10th, 1942, the Second Women’s Anti-fascist rally was held (the All-Union rally of women who participated in the Motherland war), which adopted the “Appeal to the Women of the Globe”, and “From women of Moscow to women of London.”

Women were able to replace men on many ‘masculine’ duties. This was largely due to the fact that the women possessed the same levels of education, of intellect, due to the healthy lifestyle and the popularity of sports, they were physically advanced and and endurant, as per the pan-Soviet “ready to labour and defence” standard, the renowned GTO.

The hardships and the stress of the wartime had their own reflection on the family right, which was accordingly modified and aimed to strengthen the social attitude towards marriage, to support and provide benefits for families having multiple children, to increase the birth rates, which was crucial at the time.

On October 1, 1941, a new tax was introduced for single and married people who did not have children; it applied to men aged between 20 and 50, and to women aged between 20 and 45. The taxation rate was (a) 5 roubles a month for those earning up to 150 roubles, or (b) five percent of wage for those earning over 150 roubles monthly.

Pregnant women received extra food supplies. In conditions of war, orphaned children had to be taken care of. To this end, the new laws on the patronage, on the guardianship and adoption were passed in 1943.

This way, the entire social policy of the time was directed at stabilising the family. In 1944, there was passed a new Directorate of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR “On the enlargement of the state assistance to pregnant women, to mothers having multiple children, to single mothers, guarding maternity and childhood, on establishing the honorary ‘Hero Mother’ status, the ‘Maternal glory’ Order, and the ‘Maternity’ medal.”

This way, a special approach to the concept of family was achieved in the USSR. The family was recognised as a vital social practice. For this reason, the state and the party controlled the family itself, and the relationship within families. No doubt, maternity was given the highest priority as the main function of women and, as a result, was supported by the state as a pre-condition to the successful development and the evolution of society, and the prosperity of the country as a whole. This was all the basis for the evolution of women's positions in the family. When the woman was highly valued and her rights and freedoms were not infringed and were  recognised equal to that of a man.

In 1970’s,  many things were done to improve the conditions of women mothers. One-time benefits for each child were introduced. The paid maternity leave (before and after the birth) was increased from 56 to 70 days. A new practice was introduced, whereby a women can care for the child aged between 1.5 and 3 years, with this time being counted as work time in terms of pensions calculations, and the work place was secured.

The 1977 Constitution of the USSR declared, “The family enjoys the protection of the state. Marriage is based on the free consent of the woman and the man; the spouses are completely equal in their family relations.” The constitution also secured the question of parents’ duties in relation to their children. Article 66 of the Soviet Constitution stated that, “Citizens of the USSR are obliged to concern themselves with the upbringing of children, to train them for socially useful work…” Likewise, the children were obliged to care for their parents and provide support to them.

Women were equalled in their labour rights with men. However, there was a number of remarks in the laws that assumed special conditions for mothers (for instance, extra break time for mothers feeding from breast, the paid maternity leave, infants food benefit), as well as the remarks that allowed women to select the conditions of labour that would be most comfortable to them and eliminate the threats to women’s health. This all confirmed the state care of the feminine half of the population due to its natural weaknesses and due to its natural function of giving birth.

2. 2. Condition of women in modern Russia

2.1. Statistics

As a result of capitalist restoration, a step back was in all spheres of life. Women’s rights were also affected.

Let us refer to the statistics.

Women account for the majority of population and more than a half of labour resources in Russia. In the age pyramid, the women prevail in all groups of population aged over 35.

In 1995, for one thousand men of a working age, there were 935 women. From the age of 35, the portion of women of working age becomes the prevalent.

In industry, in the harsh conditions of labour, around 3.5 million women are employed. Every fifth women is involved in hard and harmful works. In agriculture, only one third of women do mechanised work, others are involved in hard physical labour.

In 1992, it has been prohibited to use the labour of women under 35 in the plant production, in animal farming, in bird farming and fur farming, as long as toxic chemicals are used. However, this law is commonly not abided by.

In some fields, the portion of women is quite high:

82 percent in the sphere of trade and catering;

85 percent in healthcare and social services;

79 percent in public education;

73 percent in cultural services.

Women are dominant in the light industry.

On average in Russian economy, women’s wages are about a third lower than those of men.

Women are about more than half of people who are officially unemployed. The problem of employment for people under 30 is very acute. (Thirty percent of all unemployed in 1995 were under 30 years of age.)

Around a half of women (52 percent) have children under 18, twelve percent of those women are single mothers, 11 percent are mothers having multiple children.

Women and children are the majority of the poor population with incomes lower than their subsidence minimum. The practice of women doing more than one job is common.

With perestroika, the services like kindergartens were drastically cut, so the woman is forced to combine the work with the household activities, which takes up a large amount of physical energy and spiritual resources. A very short time is left to restore the work ability, so the health is undermined.

In the modern family, the woman fulfills the following functions: the household activities (the house work for the everyday needs of the entire family, cooking, maintaining clothes, other things to be done at home); the education and bringing up; the socialisation and the primary social control.

The political role of the working women in the society is especially low. In practice, they are out of all kinds authorities. In the Soviet state structures, 33 % was represented by women. After the perestroika, in the Federal Assembly (Duma and the Council of Federation, the upper and lower chambers of Russian parliament), there are only 11.4 percent of women. There is just one woman minister in the government. Amongst the heads of the Courts of the Federation structures, there are 16 percent of women. The women are mainly employed on technical and lower administrative jobs.

At the same time, the level of education amongst working women is higher than that amongst working men. 52.8 percent of those having higher education are women, while 57.5% of vocational qualifications are amongst women (statistics from the Internet source “Data for studies - social work”, July 17, 2017).

2.2. Social conditions of women. Discrimination

The specific feature of Russian imperialism is that it appeared, as a result of the counter revolution, from socialism, a more progressive system, and it still has some traces and prints of socialism. To a large extent, social achievements like the defence of the institute of maternity and childhood (1.5 years of paid maternity leave compared to a few weeks in most other capitalist countries, early retirement age for women (55 years), limitation of women’s involvement in harmful production and so on). We still have the material infrastructure from the Soviet past maintained, the institutions for infants and young kids (infants’ care units and kindergartens), the schools; there is a specialised medical aid for young kids. However, in conditions of capitalism, we observe the inevitable infringement and reductions of the rights (first of all, the projected lift of the retirement age), as well as practical applications – the monetary compensations to social guarantees, the commercialisation of education and healthcare.

Formally, the current Constitution of Russian Federation declares equal rights for men and women. However, in practice, we see that the discrimination of women is very common. Very often, women are refused to be employed, on the ground that she would allegedly soon become mother, or she has chinldren already who would impede here work. Unequal pay for men and women is very common, and the level of wages for women is much lower. According to the statistics, the average wage for a woman in Russia is 70 percent of that of a man.

The most obvious discrimination facts at the time of admission to different jobs, as follows from the analysis of job adverts, published in the media and even of those used in the state services of employment. The research of job ads in three cities – Moscow, Samara, Kemerovo – where the contents of 17 specialised job newspapers for June 2007 (3513 ads were selected for analysis), conducted by the Centre of the social and labour rights (Moscow), it was revealed that the most discriminatory criteria were the age and the sex of the applicant.

At the same time, around 44 percent (59 percent in Moscow and 25 percent in Kemerovo) contain the age requirements. Fifty-six percent of them require a man, while 44 percent say a woman is required. Some 29 percent of ads contain sex requirements (36 percent in Moscow, 33 percent in Samara, 17 percent in Kemerovo). At the same time the lower boundary for the age is 23 years, and the upper is at 41 years.

The problem of age limit affects women over 40, first of all. There are difficulties for women bringing up small children to get employed; they would prefer working part-time, while the percentage of part-time vacancies is very low. Young women who may have children in the future also have difficulties getting employed. In the questionnaires and at the interviews, one of the compulsory questions for women is the question about the children and their age, while the men are normally not asked about that.

During the last crisis year, the tendencies around women employment have changed slightly. Women having children of middle and upper school age, according to the recruitment agencies, have been enjoying better chances of employment. On the contrary, the young women who have small children or those who are just planning to have children, often face big problems when seeking job. A pregnant woman has virtually no chances to get employed, although the law assumes criminal responsibility for refusing employment on the grounds that someone is pregnant.

The movement of “fat flight attendants” is one of the recent examples.

Aeroflot company sacked a number of flight attendants, who, in the opinion of administration, gained too much weight and became unattractive. Women who were discriminated were working on the international flights, as the The Sun online reports. They applied to the court to recognise discrimination against them. However, the court declined the appeal from ex-flight attendants.

Aeroflot representative Nikita Krichevsky called on all remaining flight attendants to lose weight so that they can wear uniforms of size 48 instead of 52. This is a fact of poorly disguised discrimination.

2.3. Women’s movements in contemporary Russia. The ulcers of capitalism

Currently there are no strong women’s movements or influential structures like in Europe or in Greece (OGE).

On the bourgeois political arena, there is no women’s movement or organisation fighting for socialism. What do the women in politics currently represent?

For instance, there are women in the liberal type parties (Irina Khakamada – the Union of Right-wing Forces), who play extremely reactionary role in the women’s movement. Disguised as a struggle for freedom and democracy, for the equality of genders, they aim at destroying the ideology of socialism, at reducing the role of state in the issues of maternity and childhood, in imposing the private property relations. In particular, they were the ideological weapon of violence and of murder of those men and women who defended socialism and democracy during the open attack of counterrevolution in 1991–1993.

Since 2007, a party called “For Russia’s women” is registered and acting till today. In essence, the party plays the role of instrument in the politics of ruling and dominating class of the Russian bourgeoisie. It has been a parasite on the memory and on the Soviet attitude of woman’s role in the society. Effectively it plays the role in stabilising the capitalist relations after the open stage of the counterrevolution.

Various non-governmental organisations exist – human rights organisations, feminist, ecologists etc. They play an extremely reactionary role of the conductor of “democracy”, of the imperialist bourgeoisie – that of the biggest imperialist powers. Under the disguise of fighting “corruption” and other injustices that are born by capitalism on everyday basis, they use the popular protests towards the fake alternative of “good capitalism”.

I was working in one of these structures personally. It was called the “Egida of St. Petersburg.” It positioned itself as “the Human Rights non-commercial organisation fighting for the social rights of citizens”, there was a special emphasis on women issues. All in all, the organisation conducted a non-class politics, without differentiating the social classes the women belong to.

One of the positive parts of its work was helping women against hardship (mothers having multiple children, single mothers, retired women, women who had a strong psychological trauma as a result of being fired). This organisation was attempting to determine if there was a discrimination of women’s labour in Russia. However, a ‘gender’-based approach, without taking into account the objective differences between men and women, was not of help on many occasions. A woman was refused to be admitted as a train driver in the underground. Egida appealed to court, but lost, because the harmful conditions of labour reportedly did not allow women to keep up good health (unlike with men’s health). This suggests that the arguments were weak and were applied inappropriately.

Another example is that Egida leadership believed that many problems in Russian society are due to the gender composition of the current authorities. As Russian parliament is predominantly masculine (Federation Council by 94%, Duma by 86 %, in regional authorities there are just 12 percent of women deputies), Egida composed a law draft whereby no less than 50 percent of deputies should be women. This way, should this law be passed, the gender inequalities were supposed to be done away with. This illusion is based on ignoring the class composition and the purpose of the bourgeois parliament which reflects the interest of the ruling class. The interests of which class is Ms. Baturina, a ‘business lady’ and wife of ex-mayor of Moscow, supposed to represent in parliament? Her assets, according to Forbes, were at 1.1 billion USD as of August 2016 (mainly, the hotel business in Russia, Austria, Czech Republic and Ireland). We assume the answer is clear.

With capitalism, disgusting practice has come into Russia like prostitution, striptease shows, children trade, the trade of human organs and the trade of humans to extract organs. The very fact that a crisis centre for women called the Institute of non-discriminatory gender relations was established, suggests that these events were widespread. This institute helps women who fell victims of sexual and physical violence, of human trade and of other crisis situations. The main aims of the centre, according to its leaders, are the struggle against the violence and discrimination of women, active public interest to gender problems and feminism.

The problem of large numbers of ‘incomplete’ families and of single mothers is very acute today.

As far as the social services are concerned, it’s these categories of women who are hostile of social support and, very often, victims. In the Soviet times, single mothers (their share was tens of times lower) and their children were protected against poverty due to the income support from the state, due to the subsidised child care and due to the full employment guarantee. As a result of economic reforms in Russia, women overall and single mothers especially became extremely vulnerable. The abolition of social support from the state, the lack of childcare services, worsened opportunities for employment, no equity in wages led to the fall of family stability in Russia and placed single mothers in the high risk of poverty. As a result, the economic status of housing among single mothers is one of the worst compared to other categories. Many families have to live below the poverty line, without any prospects to go up the social ladder.

2.4. Women fighting for socialism

Women’s movement in Russia from the outset was political in its character. The attempts by bourgeois ideologists to disguise the politics in the women’s movement have proven unsuccessful. Political (class) character of the movement explains women’s activity in organisations that are oriented on these or that political movements or parties.

There are examples of militant women who we want to remark.

Natalia Lisitsyna, a woman worker, an operator of a crane, is in the ranks of our party. A member of RCWP Central Committee, she headed a branch of the class-based union Zashchita at the Elektrosila plant. For many years she and her comrades had been organising the workers’ struggle against the attacks and arbitrary actions of the plant administration and owners, Natalia lead the propaganda of socialist ideas. The administration was attempting to force the activist to get fired by lowering the wage, refused to provide opportunities for qualification training, moved her to other parts of works that harm health. There was an open attempt to bribe Natalia by offering her to leave (as per the “mutually agreed conditions” provided by the Labour Code), with an annual wage as a compensation. She refused. Eventually, she was ordered to work on ‘standby’ (coming to work with no workload) at another plant branch (so that trip from home would take longer), in what used to be a storage room. Natalia did not give up, and on the door of her ‘prison cell’ she put the sign telling that she as the chairman of Zashchita trade union admits workers for consultations. The bourgeois serviles were outraged. Head of Security Service had hysterically told Natalia that she would be done away with if she were to carry on with her trade union activity. Natallia Lisitsyna was eventually fired. Today she works at the Kirov plant in the hard conditions of the metal works, as a crane operator. As she is on the blacklist, the labour contracts with her are only valid for three months, so that she is kept under pressure, and at any time she can easily be fired. When we stood for the S.t Petersburg Parliament elections in 2016, Comrade Natalia Lisitsyna was in the central part of our electoral list.


Women’s movement in Russia is becoming more and more party-oriented, generally and literally. The attempts to interpret it in an opposite way (deliberately or not), to divert women’s activism towards bourgeois feminism, to replace the struggle for the elimination of private property relations as the main reason of inequality of genders is deception (or even self-deception). Communist Workers’ Party of Russia stands and struggles for the protecting women’s movement from these diversions; we call for the joint struggle of working men and women to get free from capitalism-grown inequality and humiliation that affect both genders. If the struggle for the liberation and emancipation of women is not linked to the struggle for socialism, we need to overcome this state of things to multiply the forces.

At this stage, the conditions are appaling for the majority of women in Russia. However, thanks to the traces of socialist achievements, things are not as bad overall as they are, for instance, in the ‘Third World’ countries. These traces wither away quicker and quicker.

How can women get involved in the struggle for their rights? It’s through getting organised, achieving unity around communist structures and around our party. At the same time, it’s our task to monitor any spontaneous women’s protests, to get women united over various common issues and to set the right direction for the women’s movement.