The most popular online travel guide to Russia, since 2001.

Interesting Facts about Russian Women and Women Rights in Russia

Women at Work. Women make 46.9% of the employed population in Russia. The greatest proportion of working women are in public health service (85%), education (81%), credit and finance (78%), information

Malevich, "Taking in the Harvest", 1911, Stedelijk, Amsterdam
Malevich, "Taking in the Harvest", 1911, Stedelijk, Amsterdam
and accounting services (75%), whilst the lowest share is in the construction industry (22%).
" As in Soviet times, the majority of working women are trapped in low-wage ghettos, such as medicine, education, and clerical jobs. The difference is that Soviet-era perks, such as accessible day care and child allowances, have evaporated" writes Fred Weir in his article.
The principle of equal pay for equal work is in the constitution but men prevail in leading positions and dominate among well paid experts, so men's average wage is higher than women's and it seems to increase even more with time.
There are protective laws prohibiting too hard jobs for women, such as carrying too heavy weights, or working at night. You'll see many women, though, working in the shops and in the metro past midnight: the law allows 'temporary' contracts for such jobs. Pregnant women or women with a child 1 to 3 years of age are strictly forbidden to work at night. When a pregnant woman leaves her job to give birth and look after her child, there is a 'requirement for a 3 year-paid maternity leave for child care'. Therefore young women are discriminated when applying for a job.
Deineka, "At the Construction of New Factory", Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Deneika, 1926, Tetryakov Gal, Moscow.
'At the construction of new factory shops'
Women make 45% of the unemployed population. Many women lost their jobs after the end of Soviet Union. Also, like many men, some educated women left their jobs themselves (because of lack of proper payment) for other jobs where they don't put in practice their skills. Some women stopped working and stayed at home, some women became alcoholics.
The age for pension is 55 years old for women, and 60 for men. However State pensions are usually 1500 R/month (50$) which is barely enough to eat for one month. Consequently many old women find little jobs to earn a bit more.
information from site
quotes by Fred Weir (fweir at online dot ru).

Wedding, Russian Surname.
The legal marrying age is 18 years old for both men and women, but it is possible under some special circumstances for a girl to marry at 16 of age.
Property acquired by spouses during marriage is their joint property, unless stipulated differently in a contract between spouses.
People walking on Kuznetski Most street in Moscow
The spouses can share their surnames after the wedding. The husband can take the surname of his wife or vice-versa.The surname of a man is feminised with the suffix -a to become a woman's surname: for example if the husband is called Smirnof, the wife can change her surname to Smirnova. The spouses can also keep their original names. After divorce names can be kept or recovered.
In Russia, children are usually given a name, and a patronymic (derived from the name of their father). For example Anna has a father called Petr Pushkin, she will be called Anna Petrovna Pushkina. Her brother will be called Stepan Petrovitch Pushkin. People use more often their patronymics than their surname to present themselves in official meetings.

Family Planning. Contraceptives and hormone containing remedies are relatively expensive in Russia as the monthly average income salary is 1500 R (54$) and a condom costs around 9 R (0,3$) and pills between 50 and 300 R (1,8 and 10$).
In Russia, abortion still remains the main method of birth control. Abortion is legally permitted under the following instances: at a woman's request within the 12th week of pregnancy; within 22 weeks if there are social conditions under which pregnancy, child birth and child rearing would become a heavy burden for a woman; and at any time if it is established that pregnancy could harm the health of the mother or the child.
Russia's abortion rate is one of the highest in the world. For every 100 births there are approximately 200 abortions.
Due to the lack of funds in the public health services it is not always possible for a woman to have an abortion 'at her own will' free of charge. An abortion costs 5$ in rural regions and 50$ in Moscow.
Programs of family planning were applied between 1992 and 1996, making the number of abortions decline by 25% . But in the following years, there were less or no funds put in the programs, because of pressures mainly by religious groups, and the percentage of abortions raised again. Sexual education is given since 1996 in schools in Moscow and St Pet but not in every establishment


Your Comments
Please, post in our Talk Lounge Russia Forums.
Comment (posted on 3/03/03): "Some questions about Russian men from a western girl:
1) how are the Russian men?
2) how do the Russian men feel about foreign women?
3) I have heard about Russian men beeing promiscuous, is that true?
4) Are contraceptives considered positive by men? Condoms for example?
5) The young women were described vividly in various ways on this site, how are the Russian men, really??"
1) Russian men are nice and warm creatures, but sometimes you may not notice it at the first glance. Also, there are some pretty guys around, but most of the men tend not to look after themselves as much, as British men, for example. But, as I said, Russian men are nice to their women anyway.
2) Russian men don't know much about foreign women, so they feel they are strangers. But generally, there's a stereotype of foreign women being used to comfortable life, and being independent, so a normal Russian men will "play safe" and choose a Russian woman instead. But this applies to middle-aged men only. I think young people don't care, as long as they like somebody.
3) Oh, I don't know the word "promiscuous"... Ok, I looked in dictionary, now I understand... Well, in other words, do they like to sleep with many different women? Mmhh, I don't know, I don't think it is something common. Who told you that?
4) Yes, sure, mostly condoms, as contraceptive pills are not widely spread and don't protect as much as condom. However, there is a common thing in Russians called "pofigizm", which means something like "not caring about anything", so it's better if you 've got one, cause your Russian mate may just forget...
5) This is a hard question, but wait... I believe I answered it before... let me see...Yes, I found it, see Myths and Truth section, answer to the comment sent on 10/11/2002.

Comment (received 4/03/02): "Instead of whining about abortion in this country........ why don't the anti-choicers promote contraceptive use and access in places like Russia?
Oh, I know why......because they're blithering idiots with piss for brains."
Answer: Ok..

Comment (received 15/03/02): "I am an American, that currently lives in South Korea. I have met many Russians here, and fell in love with one (soon to marry). A lot of the information here is accurate. I have found the Russians I've met to be very interesting, open, funny, intelligent, socialable, and just all around respectable people.
I've found many of the traditions and social customs at first strange, but after becoming use to them, it is almost a foreign concept not to do them. As far as Russian women go...I am whole heartedly in support some of the best women in the world are Russian. I have met all the "breeds/stlyes" mentioned in the marriage section, but in general, I have found them to be sincere, honest, and not out for just themselves. I could easily speak at length of them, singing praises, but I don't have the time here and now. I will say one of the things that has impressed me is the level of their intelligence and education. Their open-mindedness is a welcome change. And finally, they can work like a man, but no matter what, they are a woman first and foremost. You will not mistake them for anything other than a woman. My experiences with the Russians (both male and female) I have met has lead me to start studying Russia, its language, culture, and history. All societies have their negative points, Russia is no different, but I have found the Russian people to be some of the best I have ever met. I say this after having lived and traveled in 17 different countries.
To answer the 3/03/03 question as to Russian men being promiscuous, yes they are. All men, from all countries, are to some extent. From talking with both Russian men and women, I would say they (generalization) are a cross between France's attitude and America's. But that is not to say all are. Some are serious about their fidelity, some not. Bluntly, they are people just like anyone else.
One word of advice for any who meet Russians, accept them and their culture, learn from them and you will find your life changing in many ways. I have had nothing but good dealings with the Russians I have met and based on that alone, plan a recreational trip to Russia in the next year or two. I will not say that about many of the other countries I have visited (especially South Korea).

Comment (22/07/03): "Ok, this 'facts about women' section is much better than the other article. I'm appeased.
Shoel, UK"
Answer: This is the person who didn't like our Young Women article...

Comment (26/11/03): "Can you direct me to the section of Russian law that deals with the name of the wife after marriage?
Jan "
Answer: You need to take a look at the Family Codex of Russian Federation. Also, if you will be applying for marriage at a Russian ZAGS (marriage registration office), they will be able to provide you with this law.

Comment (13/01/04): "Im falling in love with Russian man, I want to know, can I check his status?? Was he marriaged or single??
Im Thai girl"
Answer: It's very easy - every Russian citizen has a Russian passport and if he or she is married there will be a stamp confirming the marriage (date, ZAGS number, and name of spouse). Don't mistake it with the registration stamp and a military service stamp. When I have time, I'll scan my own passport to show you what it looks like :-)
Unfortunately, if your man is in Thailand now, he is likely to have a travel passport with him only, so you won't be able to check it there.

Relevant Links:

Way to Russia Talk Lounge Forums:
How to win a Russian woman back
Should I trust her?
A furios feedback to "Russian Women" article
Marriage in Russia
How to get a Russian woman

Middle-aged women in Russia
Russian people interviews

Russian football players' wives strip to support the Russian team at Euro 2004


Comments, Questions, Feedback?


Average: 4.2 (6 votes)
Your rating: None

Interesting Facts about Russian Women and Women Rights in Russia > Most Recent

Q&A about the Russian Girls

To write about young Russian women aka girls is a triple (quadruple) suicide mission: categorizing people by age, nationality and sex is not the most rewarding enterprise.

Q&A about the Russian Women

Google has this very useful feature where it shows what most people are searching for with the phrase you type in.

Russian Women Guide

Normally there wouldn't even be a need to make a whole section dedicated to Russian women especially: it might be considered sexist by most people, you run into the risk of making crude generalizations, and the actual reason of writing about women seems a bit ambiguous.

  close and don't show again