Cover Osteuropa 6-8/2017

In Osteuropa 6-8/2017

The revolution of women
Alexandra Kollontai and gender equality

Bärbel Schmidt-Šakić

Deutsche Fassung


The Russian revolutions of 1917 had a lasting impact on relations between the sexes. Russia was the first country in the world to lay down full gender equality between men and women in law. A key contributor to this development was the Marxist theoretician, feminist and revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai. Her utopia of the new woman and free love was a radical emancipation concept. Gender equality between men and women was considered to have been fully achieved in the Soviet Union. In reality, women were indeed granted social and economic rights, but the same did not apply to the political sphere. The revolution of women led to an irreversible sexual revolution with regard to gender relations. In today’s Russia, Kollontai’s historic contribution towards the emancipation of women is neither recognised nor honoured. The relationship between gender and power is more unbalanced today than ever.

(Osteuropa 6-8/2017, pp. 383–408)