44-13 roubles per month, the women's average wage was then only 29-88
roubles per month, and this proportion between men's and women's wages
Istill holds good to a considerable extent.
The concentration of industry during the last few years whilst assisting
[enormously the growing prosperity of the Soviet national economy, necessarily threw numbers of workers, particularly the less skilled women, out
of employment. To fight this tendency, the Russian trade unions have
j decided, on the one hand, to relax temporarily the rules against the employ-
Iment of women on certain classes of night work and in certain injurious
1 trades; and, on the other hand, an effort is being made to raise the skill of
working women by their admission into factory-workshop schools as well
as by raising the general level of their education, the stamping out of
illiteracy, and so on. This subject is dealt with more fully in the chapter
As a general rule, women are prohibited from being employed on night
work, and in heavy and injurious trades. This applies in all cases to girls
under eighteen, and also to nursing and expectant mothers. But in view
of the endeavour to place woman on an equal economic footing with man
and to give her equal opportunities, this rule is modified in certain cases.
Thus in certain classes of transport work where employment must be continuous and where adherence to the rule against night work for women would
lead to the dismissal of women and their substitution by men, or to their
employment on less well paid jobs, an exception is made, and with the
permission of the Commissariat (Ministry) for Labour and the medical
adviser in each individual case, women are permitted to be employed on
night duty. They are also permitted temporarily to do night work in the
postal and telegraph service in view of the absence of sufficient qualified
men in these services.
Women are prohibited from employment involving the carrying of
heavy loads, but in the cases described above they are occasionally permitted to do so providing no hand load exceeds 36 pounds ; they may not
push loads on rails of over half a ton or of over 160 pounds on ordinary
roads and so on. Women are prohibited from employment in the heavy
branches of the timber trade, peat production, &c.
As regards the injurious trades, such as certain branches of the tobacco
trade and those in which poisonous substances are used, the employment
of women is, for the most part, prohibited ; where it is pennitted women
are given a certain definite allowance (at the expense of the enterprise) of
milk, butter, or other fats to counteract the effects of the injurious
materials, Amongst the trades prohibited to women are certain sections
of the printing trade where the worker comes into contact with lead,
dust, or poisonous gases; many branches of the chemical trade, and so on.
Women are also prohibited from working in those trades in which work
is carried out at a high temperature.
The maximum hours of wrork in unhealthy occupations is seven hours,
but in many of them it is only six hours. In addition, overalls and caps
are supplied free of charge to all such workers. These rules apply to men
as well as to women.
At the present time women at work on treadle machines and other
occupations in which work during the menstruation periods is unhealthy
have two days off with pay, during this period. In general, not less than