The Zhenotdel (Russian: Женотдел), the women's department (zhenskii otdel) of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the All-Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks), was the department of the Russian Communist party devoted to women's affairs in the 1920s.
The Zhenotdel was established by two Russian feminist revolutionaries, Alexandra Kollontai and Inessa Armand, in 1919. It was devoted to improving the conditions of women's lives throughout the Soviet Union, fighting illiteracy, and educating women about the new marriage, education, and working laws put in place by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Zhenotdel was shut down in 1930, in accordance with the then-dominant theory that all women's issues in the Soviet Union had been "solved".
Zhenotdel had five leaders during its 11 years of existence:
- 1919−1920: Inessa Armand
- 1920−1921: Alexandra Kollontai
- 1922−1924: Sofija Smidovic
- 1924−1925: Klavdija Nikolaeva
- 1925−1930: Aleksandra Artyukhina
- Early Bolshevik Work Among Women of the Soviet East (details the work of Zhenotdel activists)
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