Mother Heroine (Russian: Мать-героиня, Mat'-geroinya) was an honorary title in the Soviet Union awarded for bearing and raising a large family. The state's intent was not only to honor such large families but also to increase financial assistance for pregnant women, mothers of large families, and single mothers, and to promote an increased level of health in mother and child. The award was established in 1944 and continued to exist until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Obverse of the Order "Mother Heroine"
|Awarded by Soviet Union|
|Eligibility||Citizens of the Soviet Union|
|Awarded for||Raising 10 or more children|
|Status||No longer awarded|
|Established||July 8, 1944|
The honorary title "Mother Heroine" was established on July 8, 1944 by Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. Its statute, including multiple increases in available state pensions for these families or single mothers, was amended 15 times from its original establishment until the last amendment contained in Decree number 20 of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of May 7, 1986.
The honorary title "Mother Heroine" was awarded to mothers bearing and raising 10 or more children. The title was accompanied by the bestowal of the Order "Mother Heroine" and a certificate conferred by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. It was awarded upon the first birthday of the last child, provided that nine other children (natural or adopted) remained alive. Children who had perished under heroic, military or other respectable circumstances, including occupational diseases, were also counted. The award was created simultaneously with the Order of Maternal Glory (Russian: Орден "Материнская слава") and the Maternity Medal (Russian: Медаль материнства), intended for women with five to nine children.
Approximately 430,000 women were awarded this title during its existence.
If worn with honorary titles of the Russian Federation, the latter have precedence.
The honorary title "Mother Heroine" entitled the recipient to wear the Order "Mother Heroine", which was a gold star with silver straight rays between the arms forming an inverted pentagon; it was suspended by a silver-plated ring through the suspension loop to a metallic, red-enameled scroll-shaped mount bearing the gilt relief inscription, "MOTHER HEROINE" (Russian: МАТЬ-ГЕРОИНЯ).
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the award was abolished in most post-Soviet republics.
- In the Russian Federation it was abolished in 1991 but replaced in 2008 with the Order of Parental Glory.
- In Tajikistan it was withdrawn in 1996 to discourage large families.
- In Ukraine it was canceled upon independence but restored in 2001.
- In Kazakhstan, mothers of 10 or more children have since 1995 been awarded the Altyn Alka (Алтын алка, "Golden pendant") and mothers of eight or nine children have received the Kumis Alka (Кумiс алка, "Silver pendant").
- "Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union of July 8, 1944" (in Russian). Legal Library of the Soviet Union. 1944-07-08. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
- "Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of September 7, 2010 No 1099" (in Russian). Russian Gazette. 2010-09-07. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
- Gender, Politics and Society in Ukraine, University of Toronto Press, 2012, ISBN 1442640642
- Орден "Мать-героиня" at Ordena i Medali SSSR
- (in Russian) Legal Library of the USSR