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Impact on Women

Modern History (Year 12) - Stalin's Cultural Revolution

Ben Whitten

Impact on Women

The impact of Stalin’s cultural revolution on women was profound and strayed away from the impact of Bolshevism. By the mid 1930’s, following upheaval with radical policies, uprooted families, radical industrialisation and collectivisation and a problem of social instability presented itself. Concerns over falling birth rates arose alongside juvenile crime rates, which was increasing due to the number of homeless children. Stalin’s cultural revolution saw a shift in attitudes and policy; pro-family, pro-discipline and anti-abortion policies ensued alongside the shift in attitude, termed the “Great Retreat”; marriage was to be taken seriously and children would be urged to love and respect their parents. The Family Code in 1936 outlawed abortion, except for when there was a threat to health or genetic disorders; and divorce made this more difficult. Child support payments became fixed, and mothers with 6 children received cash payments of 2000 roubles a year with additional money per child. By 1940, the birth rate had risen but the marriage/divorce rate was not as affected, yet many wives were still facing desertion.

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