Soviet Union Information Bureau


IN the Soviet State women have the same rights and privileges as men in all social and political matters, in respect to property rights and in respect to equal pay for equal work. Many women hold high executive posts in public life, especially in cultural and health activities. Many women are members of boards of directors of trusts, or serve as directors or assistant directors of factories.

In the elections of 1927 for the rural Soviets 6,500,000 women took part. At the elections 146,251 women were elected to the rural Soviets, or 11.3 per cent of the total number of delegates elected. In 1924 women formed y. per cent of the delegates elected. In the elections of 1927 for the urban Soviets 22,221 women were elected, or 21.5 per cent of the total number of delegates elected. In 1924 women made up 19.9 per cent of the delegates elected.

In 1927 there were 641 women chairmen of village Soviets in R.S.F.S.R., 17 in White Russia, 48 in the other Constituent Republics (according to incomplete data).

Percentage of women delegates in All-Union Congresses of Soviets: First 3.5 per cent, Second 3.8 per cent, Third 7.1 per cent, Fourth (April, 1927) 8.2 per cent. In the Fourth Congress the women delegates numbered 193.

Percentage of women in All-Union Central Executive Committee: First Congress 2.4 per cent, Second Congress 2.6 per cent, Third Congress 5.5 per cent, Fourth Congress 8.0 per cent (68 members).

In October, 1927, women formed 12.8 per cent of the membership of the Communist Party, 21.4 per cent of the League of Communist Youth. Girls numbered 41.7 per cent of the Pioneers (girls and boys from 8 to 16 years, equivalent to Boy and Girl Scouts).

One-third of the students in institutes of higher education are women.

Women form over 25 per cent of the membership of trade unions. In 1927 women formed 18.5 per cent of the membership of local factory and plant committees.

At the beginning of 1927 there were 64 women in the presidiums of 47 provincial trade union councils.

The number of women who took part in the Plenary meetings of the Central Committees of Trade Unions in 1927 was 90 (10.2 per cent). The percentage of women in the Presidiums of the Central Committees of Trade Unions was 2.4.

A vigorous campaign for the emancipation of women has recently been waged in the Soviet Republics in Central Asia. In 1927 the number of women participating in elections in the Uzbek Republic showed an increase of 10 per cent over 1926. The number of women delegates elected to the Soviets in the Uzbek Republic in 1926 was 1,400; in 1927 it was 4,000. In the same period the number of women delegates elected in the Turkoman Republic increased from 170 to 600.

In the laws regulating domestic life the woman's rights are in every respect the same as those of the man. The wife's property is her own, and marriage settlements which affect her property rights are invalid. Marriage has no effect on the citizenship of either party. A wife does not have to follow her husband to another place of residence.

Special laws - such as that providing for an adequate vacation period with pay for women in industry before and after childbirth - are designed for the protection of women as mothers and for the protection of their young offspring. Institutions for the protection of mothers and babies, which were rarities before the war, are constantly on the increase. They are supported partly by the State, partly by local effort, and a constant educational propaganda in their favor is maintained by the authorities. The growth of such institutions is shown in the following table, which refers to the R.S.F.S.R. alone:

1917 Jan 1, 1926 Jan 1, 1927
Factory and District Day Nurseries 14 603 631
Permanent Village Day Nurseries 0 7 7
Mothers' and Infants' Homes 0 94 106
Infants' Asylums 7 287 245
Working Homes for Destitute Mothers 0 9 11
Consulting Stations for Children 6 390 447
Consulting Stations for Pregnant Women 0 199 270
Legal Consultation Stations 0 128 128
Village Consultation Stations 0 122 268
Total 27 1,839 2,113