World Union of Ukrainian Women

World Union of Ukrainian Women (Світовий союз українок; Svitovyi soiuz ukrainok; also known as Всеукраїнський жіночий союз; Vseukrainskyi zhinochyi soiuz). An international representative body of Ukrainian women’s organizations, formally established in Lviv in October 1937. Early in its existence the National Council of Ukrainian Women (NRUZh) had hoped to assume a central co-ordinating role, but the unwillingness of the Union of Ukrainian Women (SU) to affiliate itself with an émigré association made this arrangement impossible. The idea received fresh impetus in 1934 at the Ukrainian Women’s Congress in Stanyslaviv. Women’s groups in Galicia (the SU), Europe (the NRUZh), Volhynia (Union of Ukrainian Women of Volhynia), Transcarpathia, Romania (Women's Hromada in Bukovyna), Poland (Union of Ukrainian Emigrant Women in Poland), Canada (Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada), and the United States were brought together as founding members. Milena Rudnytska was elected president, Zinaida Mirna, secretary, and Sofiia Rusova, honorary president. The closing down of the SU (the union’s strongest and most important member) by the Polish authorities in 1938 and the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 rendered the union stillborn.

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

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