Alexandra Kollontai, The Russian Revolution and Women’s Liberation

Madeleine Johansson

Abstract


To understand the role of women in the Bolshevik revolution one must understand the conditions in which women lived in Tsarist Russia. Women, after their marriage (many of which were arranged), were regarded as the property of the husband, there was no divorce and no abortion. Women didn’t have the right to vote in the limited Duma elections and there were no women elected representatives. There was virtually no social welfare system and any woman who happened to have a child out of wedlock was likely to end up in the dreaded workhouses.


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