What did Women Want? Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety

Ilic, Melanie J (2009) What did Women Want? Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety. In: Soviet State and Society under Nikita Khrushchev. Routledge, pp. 104-121. ISBN 9780415476492

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Abstract

As part of his aim to boost participatory politics through a raft of consultation campaigns in the late 1950s, Khrushchev encouraged the formation of women’s councils (zhenskie sovety; zhensovety) throughout the Soviet Union. This chapter draws parallels between these zhensovety and earlier post-revolutionary forms of women’s organisations. The principle aim of this investigation, however, is to see if the zhensovety served as a legitimate body through which Soviet women could express their discontents at a local level and have these addressed by a higher authority, or whether they served more crudely as a channel through which central Party and government directives were filtered downwards to women. The zhensovety had a wide ranging remit: to encourage women to take a greater interest in the political affairs of their region; to encourage non-working women into employment; and to enable women to take a more active role in the running of their local community. Through a close reading of the contemporary publications of the regional zhensovety themselves, this chapter looks at the role and tasks of the women’s councils in the late 1950s and early 1960s and assesses their impact on policy formation under Khrushchev.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Liberal and Performance Arts > Religious, Philosophical and Historical Studies
Research Priority Areas: Being Human - Past, Present & Future
Depositing User: Melanie Ilic
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2015 14:49
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2016 16:21
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1262

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