[LIBERATION OF EAST WOMEN] Chadra Giul’zarchi [i.e. Giul’zarchi’s Veil]
Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 1931. Item #1278
16 pp.: ill. 16,5x13,5 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Spine slightly rubbed and restored, some soiling, otherwise very good.
First edition. Very rare.
Constructivist children’s book promoting changes in Soviet Central Asia, in particular liberation of local women.
Before the Soviet period, Uzbeks and Tajiks had strict veiling practices, promoted female seclusion, no education for women and gender inequality. The 1920s are considered the first period of the women’s liberation movement in most Asian countries. In the Transcaucasian and Central Asian Soviet Republics, party organizations widely promoted the movement. Soviet propaganda urged women to be politically active and independent. Nurseries and cafeterias favored female liberation while schools and workers’ clubs increased their literacy level.
In 1921 an International Women’s Day was officially marked in the Soviet Republics for the first time. The campaign for liberation of women kept going for decades. Muslim activists of the unveiling campaign were often ostracized, attacked or even killed. Yet, the progress happened, the role of women slowly transformed and women’s literacy rose in Central Asia.
Design of this book was created by Vera Ivanova (1896-1948). She studied at the Stroganov School of Industrial Art, then at the Free State Art Workshops. From 1929, Ivanova was engaged in book design and created a range of constructivist children’s books.
This book is about a girl who willed to pull her chador off and once managed to go to an International Women’s Day – without any veil. Thus this simple story explained what the women’s liberation campaign fought for. In 1932, the second edition of this book was printed.
Worldcat shows copies of this edition located in University of Central Missouri and NYPL.