Between society and house: the history of the emancipation of the Ukrainian women of Eastern Galicia during the First World War

Marjana Baidak


This article describes the history of the emancipation of the Ukrainian women of Galicia – the Austrian province and later in the Polish state – during the First World War and the post-war years. The focus of this research is the participation of women in combat actions, social activities, and family relationships. The events of war had a signicant impact on the everyday life of women in the household, both ideologically and mentally. The role of Ukrainian women at the front and in the public sphere is analyzed in the context of ‘internal emancipation’ by overcoming traditional prejudices that have limited female space, especially those of the household. During the war the daily space of women signicantly expanded – a woman could become not only a nurse, but the defender of the house, as she had to deal with the daily problems associated with raising children, community initiatives, or concerns for the man who had been mobilized to the front. The critical situation of the war accelerated the process of the emancipation of women as individuals and forced women to give up the traditional limitations of family and home. Ukrainian women found the space to implement dierent skills and began to understand themselves through the prism of their own lives and intimate experiences, not just as a part of a man’s everyday life. These changes were perceived in society in dierent ways. Still, mancipation was not extensive, as many women were afraid to make changes. The huge patriarchal world still dominated, but the issue of the civil rights of women, including the right for self-realization, was impossible to ignore.

Słowa kluczowe

kobiety ukraińskie, emancypacja, Wschodnia Galicja, I wojna światowa

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