The Women of 1917
Date Written: 2017-05-24
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20774
Women weren't just the Russian Revolution’s spark, but the motor that drove it forward.
On International Women’s Day in 1917, women textile workers in the Vyborg district of Petrograd went on strike, left the mills, and moved in their hundreds from factory to factory, calling out other workers on strike and engaging in violent clashes with police and troops.
Unskilled, low paid, working twelve- or thirteen-hour days in dirty, unhealthy conditions, the women demanded solidarity and insisted on action from men, especially those working in skilled engineering and metal factories who were regarded as the most politically conscious and socially powerful of the city’s workforce. Women threw sticks, stones, and snowballs at factory windows and forced their way into the workplaces, calling for an end to war and the return of their men from the front.