Mariia Huk

Mariia Huk

post-graduate student of the historical faculty of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

ORCID: 0000-0002-5321-0373

DOI: 10.17721/2522-4611.2019.39.13


Abstract. The paper discusses the development trends of the available thesis studies, which fully discuss the participation of women in the times of World War I. The methodological basis of the paper is formed by general scientific and special historical methods of logical and historiographical analysis.The papers for analysis reveal the history of women in two hostilestates, namelythe Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires.

It has been determined that there have beenwritten just a few thesis paperson gender-based issuesof the period of World War I. This is currently a developing.

The available studies have demonstrated that the history of women during World War I has been generally explored in the context of acts of charity and solving the everyday issues of the war-engulfed towns. It has been proven that women did not occupy a passive position in the times of war. On the contrary, they took it upon themselves to aid as much as possible and performed the generally attributed “male” functions.

The scholars are unanimous in their claims that World War I challenged the society's viewpointas to the status of women. The woman was forced to run her own household and at the same timebe the breadwinner for the family. Society did not condemn such zest, but on the contrary, encouraged women's work. Women began to master new professions, which previously were considered fit only for males. A woman working at the factory, or the railroad has become a commonplace phenomenon. Business ownersused this to their own benefit. Women were paid much less than men, allowing owners to save a substantial amount.

Most women distinguished themselves by doing charity. Here, theywere able to show their talents and abilities most. Women of the royal family, nobility, the intellectual elite, and peasantry worked side by side for the benefit of their own military, wounded, and refugees. «Women's Committees» took over the guardianship of families that moved and lost almost everything; took care of the children left without parents, and women who lost their husbands. These committees watched over the production of clothes for the army and refugees, collected funds for pharmaceuticals for various medical institutions. Hospitals, shelters, dormitories had their own female guardian, who saw to the order and life of these «wards».

At the front lines, in hospitals, in the places of refugee dislocations they helped with the functioning of the Russian Red Cross Society. The latter attracted not only experienced nurses, but also prepared and conducted training for all those interested. The Russian Red Cross Society had its own affiliations work closely with the local women's committees, opened refugee stations, created points of evacuation, collected funds for various needs, organized charity events.

Some women scoured the front lines and defended their Fatherland. The scholars provide data on 37 women which served their country at the front lines as part of the medical teams. Among them were Elena Stepaniv, Sofia Galechko and many others. Whereas Evdokiya Chernyavskya from Odessa disguised herself as a man and went to serve in the Russian military.

The focus on specific aspects of World War I allowed to reveal the other side of war, showing that it was not only a males bidding. Women did not stay aloof. Historysaw to it that women were represented both as certain communities the, women's organizations, society, committees and also the contributions of each and every individual. Yelizaveta Volodymyrivna, Efrosynia Mykolayivna, Olga Tereshchenko, Varvara Khannenko, Duchess M.O. Svyatopolk-Mirsky, Countess Tolstaya, Princess Demidova San Donato, Princess Branycka, Elyzaveta, and Vira Lopukhin-Demidov were unveiled as well-known philanthropists.They opened hospitalsin their estates,and workshops for the manufacture of medical instruments. At their own expense they tended to the wounded, and if it was necessary, helped out themselves in hospitals. The analysis of the available thesis papers has shown that it is necessary to conduct a historical analysis on the role ofwomen during World War I. Many issues have remained unpublished, thus there are many possibilities for further research.

Key words: World War I, everyday issues, charity.

Received by the editorial board: 18.10.2018


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