Fortunatov V. V., Beschasnaia A. A. Women in the government bodies of Soviet Russia: how it all began (Petrograd, 1923), p. 108-120

Despite the numerical superiority in society, women have hard won leading positions in public production, public space, and government. The historical events of the late XIX — early XX c. were significant for the entry of women into public administration. Women had the opportunity to express themselves not only in everyday life and in the household, but also in social activities. An example of the formation of a new management structure in the early twentieth century with the participation of women was the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Regional Duma of Workers’, Peasants’ and Red Army Deputies. We analyzed the questionnaires of women of the city and district councils of the Petrograd region, united by their work in the Executive Committee. The questionnaires are stored in the Central State Archive of St. Petersburg and have not been studied before. On the basis of this analysis, a social portrait of women who worked in the first elected bodies of Petrograd and the province was compiled. It reflects not only their collective social characteristics, but also the specifics of the historical period. The broad participation of women in public work corresponded to the growth of women’s activism in the world community and was in the interests of a wide coverage of the population with ideas of changing and strengthening the new government. The Soviet government made the maximum bet on the representatives of the previously oppressed class and received a large number of supporters in its ranks. For all their innovation, the deputies were representatives of the problems that women faced on a daily basis, so the range of issues entrusted to them was limited. The new living conditions required women to show adaptive actions in order to ensure survival and successful construction of a life path in the new state. The result of the changes was that the USSR for the first time realized the idea of actively involving women in public and political life. Read in PDF