History KS3 / GCSE: How far did the USSR improve the status of women?

From different locations in Moscow, Dr. Amanda Foreman explores the Soviet revolution and the introduction of communism into the USSR as a turning point for women’s rights.

The Bolshevik party sought to bring females out of the domestic sphere and into the public sphere as men’s equals.

Foreman joins a historian to look at vibrant propaganda posters from the Soviet government and how they aimed to promote female equality.

This is in stark contrast to the limited freedoms that women enjoyed under the tsarist government.

This short film is from the BBC Two series, The Ascent of Woman.

Teacher Notes

Pupils could compare soviet propaganda posters to British WWII propaganda posters encouraging women to help with the war effort.

Look for similarities such as the presentation of women as physically strong, and discuss why this sort of propaganda was necessary at this time. For example, Russia’s desire to industrialise, and Britain’s need for manual workers during the war.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching history at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Fourth Level and National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

More from The Ascent of Woman

Queen Elizabeth I and her use of language as propaganda
video
Buddhism and Shinto in Japan
video
An introduction to Confucianism
video
Buddhism and women in China
video
Where did the veil originate from?
video
Women in Ancient Greece
video
The fight for women’s education in Victorian Britain
video
Madame C. J. Walker, the first female African American millionaire
video
The development of the contraceptive pill
video
How Nur Jahan ruled the Mughal Empire
video
The fight for female rights in the French Revolution
video
Why were there witch hunts in the seventeenth century?
video
Women and the battle for equality in the church
video
How foot binding affected women in China
video