Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya

the woman workerNadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya (1869– 1939) has been overshadowed as a revolutionary and essayist in the popular perception by the figure of Lenin and unfortunately became known by many simply as ‘Lenin’s wife’. 

The Woman Worker, Krupskaya’s first pamphlet, was written in Siberian exile where she had joined Lenin, following their arrest in 1896 and sentencing to three years internal exile in Shushenskoye. Krupskaya and Lenin married in July 1898. Krupskaya wrote The Woman Worker in 1899 under the pseudonym ‘Sablina’, one of several she used before the Bolshevik revolution. Other pseudonyms she employed included; Lenina, Artamonova, Onegina, Ryba, Rybkina, Katya, Frey and Gallilei.

Women are usually paid less than men. 

The Woman Worker was originally published and circulated in 1901 before being banned following suppression of the 1905 revolution. It was republished in 1925 with a new preface by the author (included in this translation). Its significance stems from being the first Marxist work on the situation of women in Russia. The author analyses in some depth the causes of women’s lack of rights under tsarism. She calls on women to join the ranks of fighters for a better life, as equals and alongside men workers. “The woman worker is a member of the working class” she writes “and all her interests are closely tied to the interests of that class.” Krupskaya vividly describes the plight of peasant women in the family, their powerlessness and wholesale dependence on the husband. “The woman is ‘brought into the house’” she writes. “That is why the person of the woman is rated so low, and why according to peasant custom the woman is seen as property, which is valued in the main only for her capacity for work.” The Woman Worker continued to be published in Soviet times, in the first volume of Krupskaya’s complete works published in 1957 by the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (available to download at and republished in 1964

Taken from the introduction by Dmitriy Kolesnik, a Ukrainian journalist and former editor of online journal Liva and Ukrainian communist newspaper, New Wave (now suppressed) whose editor was recently arrested by Ukraine’s security service and accused of treason. Dmitriy Kolesnik contributes to German newspaper, Junge Welt and Melodie und Rhytmus magazine and coordinates antifascist and communist activists in his homeland. Taken from the website

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