Women's press

Image - A Nova khata cover by Olena Kulchytska.

Women's press. In Ukraine, as in other countries, the women's movement found it necessary to establish its own press organs, in which it could discuss issues of interest to women and encourage women to take part in the national liberation movement and be active in community affairs.

The literary miscellanies Pershyi vinok (The First Wreath, 1887) and Nasha dolia (Our Fate, 3 vols, 1893, 1895–6) were the precursors of women’s periodicals. Published by the pioneering Western Ukrainian feminist Nataliia Kobrynska, they elucidated the theoretical foundations of feminism, the social and political status of women, and their most immediate tasks. The first feminist journal, the semimonthly Meta, was published by the Circle of Ukrainian Women, in Lviv in 1908. It was followed by Zhinoche dilo, a supplement to the Lviv daily Dilo in 1912, edited by Olena Kysilevska; Zhinochyi vistnyk, a semimonthly published by the Ukrainian Women’s Union in Kyiv in 1917; Nasha meta (Lviv), a journal published by the Ukrainian Social Democratic party in Lviv in 1919–20; and Zhinochyi vistnyk, a weekly supplement to Dilo in 1921, edited by Milena Rudnytska.

As women’s organizations in Western Ukraine expanded in the 1920s, the demand for women’s periodicals increased. In 1925, Olena Kysilevska and the Kolomyia branch of the Union of Ukrainian Women (SU) began publishing the monthly (later biweekly) Zhinocha dolia, and the Ukrainske Narodnie Mystetstvo co-operative association began publishing the magazine Nova khata in Lviv. Both periodicals continued to appear until the outbreak of the Second World War. In the 1930s openly partisan journals were established. The Union of Ukrainian Working Women affiliated with the Ukrainian Socialist Radical party issued Zhinochyi holos (1931–9), and the SU published an official semimonthly, Zhinka (1935–8), which supported the Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance; Ukraïnka (1938–9), a popular magazine for peasant women, edited by Mariia Strutynska; and Hromadianka (1938–9).

Until 1990 the few women’s periodicals in Soviet Ukraine served as communist propaganda tools. They included the magazines for peasant women Komunarka Ukraïny (1920–34), Selianka Ukraïny (1924–31), and Kolhospnytsia Ukraïny (1932–41) in Kharkiv; Rabotnitsa i domashniaia khoziaika (1926–7, 7 issues), a supplement to Shkval, the Russian-language journal published in Odesa; and the republican monthly Radians’ka zhinka (now Zhinka), published in Kyiv since 1946. The first independent women’s periodical in the Ukrainian SSR was Halychanka (est October 1990), the biweekly paper of the revived Union of Ukrainian Women in Lviv.

In Canada the first Ukrainian separate women’s periodicals were the communist Holos robitnytsi (1923–4) and Robitnytsia (1924–37) in Winnipeg. From 1934 to 1949 the Ukrainian Women's Organization of Canada published a regular section in the pro-OUN weekly Novyi shliakh in Winnipeg, and since 1950 it has issued its own monthly magazine, Zhinochyi svit. From 1929 to 1959 the Ukrainian Orthodox church–affiliated Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada published a special page in another Winnipeg weekly, Ukraïns’kyi holos; since then it has issued its own monthly magazine, Promin’. In 1970 the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada began publishing its quarterly magazine, Nasha doroha, in Winnipeg, edited by Alexander Baran and V. Buchynska.

In the United States the first Ukrainian periodicals for women were Rannia zoria (1919–20) in Chicago, edited by Volodymyr Simenovych; the Ukrainian National Women's League of America's (UNWLA) monthly magazine Zhinochyi svit (1933–4) in Pittsburgh; and Zhinka (1939–40) in Detroit, edited by Mary Beck. In 1938 the UNWLA began publishing a page of news in the Philadelphia paper Ameryka (Philadelphia); since 1944 it has published its own monthly magazine, Nashe zhyttia/Our Life, in Philadelphia and, since 1975, New York. From 1949 the World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations published a page in Nashe zhyttia/Our Life. In 1963 it established its own quarterly, Ukraïnka v sviti, and since 1973 it has published an English-language annual issue, Ukrainian Woman in the World. In 1975 the United Ukrainian Orthodox Sisterhoods began publishing a quarterly magazine, Vira, in South Bound Brook, New Jersey, edited by H. Petrenko. Since late 1975 the Ukrainian Gold Cross has issued an irregular bulletin in Rochester, New York State, edited by M. Povkh.

Elsewhere in the Western world, Ukrainian women published eight issues of the journal Ukraïnka (1945–6) in Hannover, Germany. The Ukrainian Women's Alliance in Germany published the monthly Hromadianka (1946–50) in Augsburg, edited by Liudmyla Kovalenko and M. Dontsov, and an irregular informational leaflet. In England the O. Teliha Ukrainian Women’s Association has published an irregular magazine, Lastivka, edited by V. Smereka, and a page in the bulletin of the Federation of Ukrainians in Great Britain. The Ukrainian Women's Association in Australia published a quarterly magazine, Nashe slovo, in Sunshine, Victoria, in 1966–77. Women’s pages are also published in weeklies such as Ukraïns’ka dumka (London) in Great Britain (by the Association of Ukrainian Women in Great Britain), Nash klych in Buenos Aires (by the Vidrodzhennia Organization of Ukrainian Women affiliated with the Vidrodzhennia society), Ukraïns’ke slovo (Buenos Aires) (by the Prosvita Alliance of Ukrainian Women), Homin Ukraïny in Toronto (by the Women's Association of the Canadian League for Ukraine's Liberation), and Nashe slovo in Warsaw.

Olena Zalizniak

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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