Women’s rights in 19th century Russia

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While every unhappy family might be unhappy in its own way, women in 19th-century Russia could find solidarity in their plight. Like the majority of her European counterparts, a Russian woman’s father and husband controlled most aspects of her life. Even noblewomen, as portrayed by Anna Karenina, could not vote, hold their own passports, or attend high schools or universities — secondary education was unavailable to women until the 1850s, and higher education was unavailable until the 1870s. What little education high-born women received was largely vocational, amounting to skills in marriage, housekeeping, and motherhood. (From a Masterpiece Theater article; read more here.)