Changing Times for Russian Women

In the Western world, the role of women in society has changed drastically over the recent decades with women holding positions of power in business and politics as well as enjoying increased personal liberation. Whilst some societies remain in the dark ages — and others fully embrace women’s liberation, Russia falls somewhere in between as it tries to balance equality with traditional values.

Since the early 1990s, there has been a slow but steady improvement for the rights of women in Russia but, there’s still a long way to go. Although there have been significant improvements in terms of employment, social and personal rights, particularly after the introduction of Article 19 in the 1993 democratic elections, Russian women still face many obstacles on a daily basis.

Insufficient social services and financial constraints mean that, in order to live independently, Russian women are forced to juggle full-time employment with motherhood — a struggle which has seen a tragic decline and deterioration of the classic, traditional family.

Not only are Russian girls often forced to choose between a career and motherhood, but there is still a great deal of work to be done on their personal rights. Despite an anti-sexual harassment law being passed in 2014, a devastating move in 2017 sought to introduce a partial decriminalization of violence against women in the home. With domestic violence becoming an increasing problem in Russia, this new move angered many activists who saw this as very much a step in the wrong direction.

This may be part of the reason that more and more Russian singles are looking for a spouse from outside of Russia in a bid to achieve traditional marriage and children in a more enlightened environment. This seems like a very welcome end to the idea that looking for love online with a foreign partner was somehow shameful or immoral.

Another major change in Russia has come in the form of the adult movie industry. Once seen as seedy and dirty, it is slowly being recognized as a relevant and legitimate form of entertainment. In 2017, adult film actress Elena Berkova caused a stir when she announced her intention to become a presidential candidate — although she was not successful on that occasion, many feel that a point was made.

2018 saw one of the most watched World Cup events ever. Held in Russia, the event made a household name out of super-fan Natalya Nemchinova who, as it was subsequently revealed, is one of Russia’s most successful adult movie stars.

As Russia continues to evolve and adapt to changes that are more common for other countries, so do its female residents who continue to gain traction in many so-called ‘male-oriented’ areas such as science, politics, and industry. With these new and welcome changes, it’s only a matter of time before the Russian Government follows suit and introduces the support women need to pursue these activities whilst also staying faithful to their traditional values.


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