Gender and Women's Rights in the Cold War

Helen Laville

in The Oxford Handbook of the Cold War

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199236961
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191750328 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Gender and Women's Rights in the Cold War

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This chapter, which examines the issues of gender and women's rights during the Cold War, discusses how the United States and the Soviet Union used the status of women as a measure of national progress. It explains that the United States promoted women's domesticity and consumerism while the Soviet Union maintained that the measure of woman's status was her equality to men, which should be measured in terms of equal pay and the number of women in the workforce. The chapter also discusses the factors that led to the breakdown of the Cold War paradigms for women's rights, and describes how non-aligned countries challenged the early Cold War agenda and worked toward a more nuanced approach to the global improvement of women's status.

Keywords: gender; women's rights; Cold War; United States; Soviet Union; national progress; consumerism; domesticity; equal pay; women in workforce

Article.  8649 words. 

Subjects: Cold War ; Gender and Sexuality

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