Russian Women

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“What are the Problems Contemporary Russian Women Face with in Social, Professional and Family Life?”

Nowadays, with the raising activeness of women in Russian society, many changes occur in many spheres of life. Yet the changes did not affect the whole Russia homogeneously, because Russia is bigger in terms of its size and population, these regions differ greatly in their culture, religion, economy and ethnicity (Motiejunaite and Kravchenko 43). However, Russian culture is an old civilization which is shaped under the effects of many political reform and ideology during last century. All of these features influence the general society structure, so many gender differences and roles specialize and become a major determinants of contemporary Russian culture. In this research, these determinants and their impacts will be analyzed deeply and many problems of Russian women are underlined in the light of scholars’ ideas from different corners of world. Moreover, if we make a comparison between Russia and other regions in which women suffer from lack of freedom, Russia seem a developed country with given equal rights to men and women. Yet indeed, there are many things that should be mentioned about conventional Russian women who share similar problem and destiny with women from other cultures. Even if it is obvious that Russia carries the traces of communism and egalitarian policy, there are still problems for women caused by gender differences especially in family, professional and social life.

Lower valuation and other problems of women continues in Russian society under the effect of modernism as well as traditionalism and its impact lead to numerous problems such as widespread cohabitations, falling birthrates and gender division in many areas. Russian reforms even today invest in maintaining and reinforcing gender roles, although Western World does not approve such an inequality between genders (Kerig, Alyoshina and Volovich 394). One of the unapproved reforms from education area is that Russian children are raised in schools teaching conventional and modern norms together (Goodwin and Emelyanova 338). Wrong attitudes in education and socialization reflect the structure of society, because the view of people about marriage and family shapes depending on taken education. In big cities like Moscow and St.Petersburg, it is normal to be in harmony with westernization, yet interestingly in rural areas which at least under the impact of western culture have dramatic increase in divorce rates (White 430). Number of children born outside of marriage increased from 13.5% to 29.5% between the years of 1989-2002 and also there is considerable rise in the percentage of people who approve sex outside marriage (White 429). Furthermore, marriage institution loses its validity because many men and women prefer living together without a legal marriage deal. In the consequences of all these, relationships and society structure become corrupted. Depending on economic independence of women and changing trends on partnerships, fertility rates decline from 1.89 children per women to 1.25 between 1990 and 2001 (White 429). Unfortunately, fertility rate keeps on decreasing over the recent years. This situation also poses a threat for Russian culture, since the minorities living on the Russian land can dominate the original population. Rates that are obtained from research and general surveys show that Russian society structure is shaping by Western life style. Hence, unless education as a source of socialization detached from Western impact, it seems Western thinking will continue to lead problems for society structure in the future in Russia.

Russian women face with many problems in their private life as well as social life and situations such as sexual harassment, rape, violence are the proofs of gender inequality in Russia. In combination of women’s economic dependence on men and little or no...
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