There are 4 empress regnants (Catherine I, Anna, Elizabeth, Catherine II) in Russian history, all of whom ruled during roughly the same historic period (18th century). 3 of them (Anna, Elizabeth, Catherine II) enjoyed absolute power and used it to actively rule.

What were their position and policy regarding women's role in society and their rights? How did they consider their rulership in the context of patriarchal views in society of that time?

Update: some possible relevant historical context

Catherine I: she didn't really care much about state affairs and de-facto delegated ruling to Supreme Privy Council. I haven't found any facts regarding her views on the matter, but presumably she just didn't care much.

Anna: she reestablished absolutism and actively ruled for 10 years. I haven't found any information regarding her views and policies regarding the matter.

Elizabeth: actively ruled for 21 years. According to historian Tamara Talbot Rice, "Later in life her outbursts of anger were directed either against people who were thought to have endangered Russia's security or against women whose beauty rivaled her own".

Catherine II: probably the most interesting case here. Having a 34-year-long extremely successful period of reign, she surely had enough power to change almost anything. She established the first state-financed higher education institution for women in Europe, but I am not sure how feminist does this count, given that the students there weren't taught any professions there, instead it was just a place to teach noble females some "good" values".

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? What were the reasons for female monarchs not to improve women rights? May 31, 2021 at 23:30
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    That other question was closed. Anyway, while the women in question may have, in theory, had absolute power, in practice, they were in a precarious position and had to play a political game to ensure support for their rule. May 31, 2021 at 23:46
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    @MoisheKohan - Since it was closed with no answers, I'm guessing it doesn't.
    – T.E.D.
    May 31, 2021 at 23:51
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    This seems like a far better crack at a question on this topic. I did a bit of preliminary research, and there does appear to be some interesting things to say on this topic. It could still use an edit covering what you already know and already have researched on this, so our users don't waste a lot of research effort on stuff you don't need.
    – T.E.D.
    May 31, 2021 at 23:55
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    @MoisheKohan They were both asked by the same person, this is presumably simply an attempt to ask a more focused version of the question, which has a better chance of getting an answer and not getting closed. Jun 1, 2021 at 0:47


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