This presentation aims to rethink the so-called ‘Era of Stagnation’ of the Soviet Union under Leonid Brezhnev (1964 – 1982) by analyzing it from a gender perspective. It argues that Brezhnev did more than his predecessors in developing policies that positively affected the lives of Soviet women. The presentation’s main hypothesis is that the increased interest in women’s problems during the Brezhnev era was the result not only of changes in the ideological framework, economic and demographic situation in the USSR during the 1970s, but also of wider international developments, such as the détente and rapprochement between the countries of the Eastern and Western blocks, and the growth of feminist movements in the West.
Olga Baranova is Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary European History at the Gonzaga University of Florence. Currently she is EURIAS Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM.