What the relaxed professional ban means for women in Russia

What the relaxed professional ban means for women in Russia

In the 1970s, so few children were born in the Soviet Union that the state banned women from working. From then on, they were prohibited from 456 professions that were considered dangerous “for reproductive health.” In other words, women were not supposed to do physical work, but to give birth and bring up children.

The occupational ban has been revised slightly ever since, but was not fundamentally updated until the beginning of 2021: Now “only” 100 professions are banned. For example, women are still not allowed to put out fires, build tunnels or clean sewers. Instead, the path to many other professions is open to them. And thus also into a more equal Russian society. Six Russian women report how they were or are affected by the occupational ban.

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