Protection of Women and Children in Soviet Russia


When the Soviet Government established the tradition that women should be able to work and earn wages as do men it had to solve the problem of where working mothers could leave their children while they were earning their living. The day nursery was the obvious solution, and so the Institute for the Protection of Women and Children found that one of its main functions was the establishing and perfecting of what the Russians call the "creche." Almost from the beginning the creche meant more than just a day nursery, for it became the place from which the Russian workers of the future were to be trained, and where the children of the U. S. S. R. could get their introduction to education. The creche has proved one of the chief weapons used in the struggle against child mortality, since in them necessary food is scientifically dispensed and exercise is planned not only to provide amusement to the children, but to develop their muscles and lay a sound foundation for future health. The creche is also the primary means of fighting disease, in that it lays a foundation for good health and cleanliness among the children as well as their parents. It also serves as a check for disease epidemics, since, due to the system of daily medical examinations, it gives the doctors of the Union a chance to care for all those creche children who are ill, and prevent the spread of any contagious epidemic amongst them. But above all, the creche aims to lay foundations for the formation of a functioning communal society by training children from their birth to be social beings in the Communist sense.

The regime followed in the Soviet creches is based upon the principles underlying Communism, and this regime has been worked out by the medical men and the psychologists of the U. S. S. R. who are making child training the subject of profound research. Such scientists are very fortunate in that they have no deadening social traditions to hamper them, and consequently they are at liberty to use the best experiments of other countries, as well as to make further more radical experiments of their own.