In Russia, post-communist reforms to state social benefit policies have shown contradictory views of gender. On the one hand, reform showed a desire to promote gender equality between individuals, a view in which men and women alike were considered autonomous citizens. On the other hand, there was an impulse to consider women as a needy group dependent on special help from the state. This paper examines three related areas of policy: pronatalist policy, child welfare benefits, and old age pensions, in order to reveal unresolved issues in Russian social policies towards women and children.