chapter  16
8 Pages

Triple-burden lifestyle

According to a long-standing tradition, it was a woman’s responsibility to take care of family’s private garden plot and any domestic animals a peasant family might have. This tradition continued well into the Soviet era as well. When the Soviet government announced the establishment of collective farming, more men than women became involved in the process. In the 1930s, two-thirds of all labor days, a common system of payment that calculated the number of days each person worked on the collective farm, were completed by men.1 Women’s work in the collective farm was often seasonal, and women still spent more time performing domestic chores and working their private plots. Thus, in the 1930s, up to 80 percent of all hours worked by women were not spent at their workplace. The work on the private lot also supported the family by providing it with extra income and a bulk of vegetables, eggs, dairy products, and even meats for its consumption.2