Primary Sources

Traditional Image of Soviet Women

Description

Soviet propaganda posters presented positive images of healthy, active people engaged in useful service to the state, including women. In this poster from 1974, three women, with their hair covered with a traditional kerchief, are depicted alongside a clear slogan: "Soviet Women! Be the first in line for the national struggle to successfully fulfill the Five-Year Plan in four years!" Since the adoption of the first Five-Year Plan by Stalin in the 1920s, the Soviet leadership invested in heavy propaganda to convince workers—both men and women—to surpass their production quotas in order to bring faster completion of their industrial development plans. While the early plans under Stalin had been repeatedly "overfulfilled" with early completions, the post-World War II Five-Year Plans generally went uncompleted. This poster was a tool for Soviet authorities to maintain the appearance of its commitment to an aggressive plan of industrial productivity, despite the reality of shortfalls and a decaying industrial base.

Source

"Soviet Women!" Soviet Union, courtesy of the Wende Museum, 1974.

How to Cite this Source

"Traditional Image of Soviet Women," Making the History of 1989, Item #21, http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/items/show/21 (accessed November 24 2014, 7:32 pm).