History work- can you grade it?Watch
How far did the role of women in Russia change between 1928 and 1941?
The role of women undoubtedly changed between 1928 and 1941, as women were increasingly entering the workforce due to the needs of the First five year plan. For example in 1928 only 3 million women worked in Russia's industry, but by 1940 this had increased to 13 million. However traditional gender roles still remained and women were expected to do household chores like cleaning, cooking and childcare.
As a result of women increasingly entering industry, they now had a changed role from solely working at home to now contributing to the economy. In some cities like Leningrad almost 50% of industrial workers were women and these meant they were vital to the Five year plans. The importance of the role was demonstrated by the Soviet authorities decision to increase the number of places given to women in higher and technical education. While in 1929, 20% of places were given to women, by 1940 this was increased to 40%. Women's role as workers were also extended to the agricultural economy. For instance by 1945, 80% of all workers in Russia's farms were women. In this way the role of women had greatly changed, as they were now relied upon to both feed the country and industrialise Russia.
In a way there was also another change for women, as their role of wife and mother was stressed as important by the Communist government in the 1930's. While previously in 1927, 2 thirds of all marriages ended in divorce in the cities and therefore obviously the role of wife for women was less significant, by 1937 as a result of more complex, expensive divorce laws and marriage becoming more glamorous by the reintroduction of wedding rings in 1936, women's traditional role of housewife was reinforced. On average, women spent 5 times longer on domestic duties than men and in this way, women were expected to return to their traditional gender roles in addition to occupying a working role.
However, although ordinary Russian women were increasingly entering the Russian industrial workforce, wives of party officials roles changed from being involved in their husband's political work to being expected to do their duty at home. Although in the later 1920's these women could have nannies to look after their children, they now had to ensure they maintained warm and comfortable homes, while being caring and attentive to their husbands. This group of women also now had a greater role of mothering Russia in more general, as they became increasingly involved in the the wife activists movement which organised nurseries and activities for seriously ill children, created schools, libraries and supervised factory canteens as well as doing charity work. For example, the wives of senior officials in Magnitogorsk organised a masked ball in which the proceeds went to the needy. Therefore the role of these women changed from 1928,but in another sense like women in general who were expected to work at home, their role was not altered to a great deal, because they were still responsible for child care.
Women's role as predominantly mothers however didn't change. As a result of the birth rate declining, women were rewarded if they had large families. For example women with seven children were entitled to acquire two thousands roubles a year for five years and this was extended to eleven thousand roubles for women with eleven children. Also as the Soviet government criminalised abortion unless it was medically needed to save the life of the pregnant woman, this further stressed the traditional role. However from a different perspective this can be seen as a change, as the mother role became even more stressed after the increasing divorce rate caused many social problems, particularly the number of orphans increasing and therefore women's new role of wife was linked to their role of mother.
In addition due to Soviet propoganda the traditional female role was reasserted and women became further seen as the strength of the heart of the family, as well as being noble, responsible and self sacrificing. Also women's traditional role was also emphasized by the fact that although local party bosses may have been willing to track down fathers who didn't pay for their children and consequently helping these children's mothers, this help was only available for women who conformed to role of wife and mother.
In conclusion, the role of women did change greatly between 1928 to 1941. They increasingly entered the Workplace and so undertook the role that had previously only been filled by men. However, women;s income was only 60-65% of a man's income doing the same job. Consequently women gained the role of worker, but also were expected and seen to conform to role of homemaker simulatenously-
sorry for any spelling mistakes but i had to hurry cos i'm goin 2 watch an x factor star soon. anyway here's the levels 4 and level 5 grade boundaries. Level 4 is a b and level 5is a c, so please tell me which one this is closest too or if i'm even below these lol
Level 4; a number of points which clearly address the question and show an understanding of the most important factors involved.
the points will be supported by accurate material which will be mostly relevant and detailed.
There will be a clear explanation of how the points and specific examples provide an answer to the question
Level 5: a number of points which clearly answers the question and show a thorough understanding of the most important factors involved
The points will be supported by accurate material which will be relevant and detailed
There will be a clear explanation of how the points and specific examples provide an answer to the question, as well as an evaluation of the relative importance of the different factors or issues discussed.
In case anyone else attempted a similar essay and wanted to see how it was marked, here is my annotated marked response, similar to the style of Edexcel marking.