Women in the political and socio-economic life of Mykolaiv region from the second half of the 19th to the first third of the 20th centuries





The article analyzes the societal status of women, their possibilities for social activity, and the types of women’s movements in the second half of the 19th to the first third of the 20th century, taking into account regional specificities. The chosen region for the study is Mykolaiv Oblast, which is determined by the existence of a number of distinctions in defining gender roles in comparison to the overall Ukrainian practice. The militarized nature of the region led to the preservation of a significant masculine component in the mentality of the local population for an extended period. It was the military personnel who constituted the local elite, among whom emancipatory attitudes characteristic of the Russian Empire in the second half of the 19th century were supposed to form. Furthermore, the gender ratio in the population of Mykolaiv Oblast was not in favor of women. By the end of the 19th century, the majority of the male population had state-guaranteed earnings and pension provision for their families in case of tragic events, while the female segment, even if comparable in numbers, was still perceived mentally as mere «ornaments» confined to the private sphere. Therefore, more ideal conditions for preserving a patriarchal order in society could hardly be sought. It has been demonstrated that Mykolaiv Oblast underwent a unique transformation from a region characterized by a “dual” masculinity and the dismissal of the «women’s question» to a more emancipated state of the community. In this community, the structure of «Soviet feminism» in the form of women’s departments found its niche and laid the foundation for the social mobility of the younger generation of women.