Communist Movements Affected Women’s Struggle
Communist movements affected women’s struggle for rights by showing a lack of interest in women’s liberation and discriminating against women through the exclusion of people in political parties during 1926-1930. From 1960 – 1970 the communist government tried to advocate women’s equality to the public, through different forms of propaganda. As a result of the steps taken by the government to ensure gender equality, from 1974 – 1981 it is clear that the the measures were not very effective because women still experienced major struggles in the communist government.
From 1926 to 1930, the communist government did not have direct involvement in the fight for women’s rights in society. Alexandra Kollontai explains “how little our Party (communist) concerned itself with the fate of the women of the working class and how meager was its interest in women’s liberation,”. This shows that the women in the communist societies started to realize the lack of involvement the government had in creating a society equal to both genders. This inspired them to reach out to other women and voice their opinions so that they could create a society in which they got the rights they deserved . Likewise, if a person was related to a women that wore a veil, they were not allowed to be apart of the communist party or Komsomol. This implies that the women of the muslim religion experienced major discrimination due to a piece of clothing that they wore and the religion that they practiced. It is clear that the communist government did not recognize or care about the equality difference between women and men in society. During 1960 to 1970, the communist government uses different forms of advertisement to voice their involvement in women’s suffering.
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The communist government in North Vietnam uses their constitution to show that women should “enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres of political, economic, cultural, social, and domestic life,”. The government specifically declares that women should have the same place in society as men which informs the citizens how the government views women and how they should value their place in society as well (purpose). Meanwhile, the National Science Foundation uses statistics in order to show how women were becoming more involved in jobs. The statistics demonstrate the number of women among research and professional jobs in the Soviet Union. The National Science foundation wanted the people to see how, although small, the involvement of women in higher paid jobs was increasing. In addition, China used posters to “Encourage Late Marriage, Plan for Birth, Work Hard for the New Age,”. The Hubei Province Birth Control Group wanted women to think about their own future before jumping into any lifelong commitments. This shows how the the beliefs of how women should live their lives was changing. They wanted women to take control of their own lives and not be forced into decisions any longer.
Through 1974 – 1981, women still experienced inequalities in society despite measures taken by the communist government toward liberation. The president of Cuba, Fidel Castro admits that women are still a victim of discrimination in the communist government and recognizes the amount they have contributed to the Revolution. This implies that the measures taken by the communist government were not enough to end women suffering and inequality because someone of political power recognized the pattern still continuing. Women’s groups did form as a result of the struggle to gain equal rights, but the women still felt like “After so many exhausting hour of labor in factories and on building sites we are still expected to rush about like mad, hours on end, in search of food to give to our husbands, children and grandchildren something to eat,”. The women showed that they were still struggling immensely in society due to food shortages and continued prejudice. The group wrote specifically to Elena Ceausescu, the wife of the communist dictator in Romania, because they wanted her to know that although she had gained many luxuries through communism, the average women was still suffering.
Although women did gain opportunity to work and, the degree to which communist movement intervened women’s liberation was not enough to end women’s inequality in the communist government. Another document that would illustrate the degree to which the communist government affected women’s struggle for rights would be a tally of the number of women’s groups that formed from 1930 – 1981 orchestrated by an American journalist to ensure an unbiased approach. The document would show how the number of groups greatly increased over time which would demonstrate how woman started to take a stand against the government. The number of groups would reach an all time high in the 1980’s which would imply that the women were still unsatisfied with their role in society and still wanted to push the government for better treatment. Another event that connects to women struggle for rights through communism would be african americans in america during the civil rights movements. Before the civil war, most african americans had little to know rights in the government and society. Through the division of beliefs on what kind of rights the african americans deserved, the civil war took place.
After the civil war concluded, the african americans were promised natural human rights, jobs, and a place in society by the government, similarly to women in the communist government, but major discrimination still continued. Although they were no longer to be enslaved, the american government failed to intervene enough in order for the rights of american citizens and african americans to be equal, which shows how the communist government and the american government were alike in the degree of helping minority groups.