We have set up a thirty-day trial of the Soviet Woman Digital Archive (1945-1991)
To link to this database during the trial is below:
Published initially under the aegis of the Soviet Women’s Anti-Fascist Committee and the Central Council of Trade Unions of the USSR, in the aftermath of WWII in 1945, the Soviet Woman magazine began as a bi-monthly illustrated magazine tasked with countering anti-Soviet propaganda. The magazine introduced Western audiences to the lifestyle of Soviet women, their role in the post-WWII rebuilding of the Soviet economy, and praised their achievements in the arts and the sciences.
The magazine covered issues dealing with economics, politics, life abroad, life in Soviet republics, women’s fashion, as well as broader issues in culture and the arts. One of its most popular features was the translations of Soviet literary works, making available in English, (and other languages) works of Russian and Soviet writers that were previously unavailable. An important communist propaganda outlet, the magazine continued its run until the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
Vendor: East View
Today, March 8, is celebrated around the world as International Women’s Day. In the USSR, this holiday was celebrated rather religiously as the role of Soviet women in the success of the Soviet experiment and internationalist policies was undeniable. The conceptualization of the Soviet Woman as an idea was nuanced and complicated. A Wikipedia entry starts as follows, “International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence against women.”
Image Source: Messy Nessy (https://www.messynessychic.com/2017/03/10/the-soviet-communist-origins-of-international-womens-day/) Fair Academic Use Only. The copyright belongs to the creator of the image.
Temma Kaplan’s article, “On the Socialist Origins of International Women’s Day,” provides insights into how this day became a signifier in the Socialist World. One however forgets that the origins of this day can be found in Germany as noted by Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild in her article, “From West to East International Women’s Day, the First Decade.” Here you can access some materials from UC Berkeley Library’s catalog regarding International Women’s Day. Also, some posters from the collections of several California libraries can be found here.
One can watch an interesting clip from YouTube with a title, “Демонстрация женщин в 1917 году. Московские Новости. 8 марта 1967,” and a concert honoring women in the Soviet Union from 1984.
Below is the clip of a 1963 concert dedicated to International Women’s day:Концерт 8 Марта из Большого театра СССР (1963).
And here is a clip of protest on the occasion of March 8th from Mexico.