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Home > Slavic Women & Slavic Girls in Ukrainian History
Slavic Women & Slavic Girls in Ukrainian History

   Slavic Women in Ukrainian History

      Reading history books, we usually learn about princes, kings, and famous generals. These people conquered lands, ruled states, and changed the world. And they all are men. So where were the women? Why is it that we hear almost nothing about Slavic women in history? How to find the trace that the whole half of the country left behind?

The spouses' absence of children has always been interpreted as a tragedy. In traditional societies, the responsibility for the absence of children in the family was assigned primarily to the wife, despite the fact that, as is now well known, a man and a woman take an equal part in the conception of a child, and infertility can be both male and female.

  • ⏩ This stereotypical idea that the guilty woman is to blame for the childlessness of the family is obviously explained by the ability of the female body to become pregnant, bear, give birth, and milk a child, so the burden of responsibility for this fell on the woman. In addition, if a childless man could realize himself and prove his worth and significance in other areas — war, government, religion, power, etc., then these areas were closed to a women. Consequently, motherhood as the "main female destiny" is usually a significant factor in obtaining high social status and respect in society.
  • ⏩ Once upon a time, there were no schools or nannies for children. After giving birth to a child, the mother devoted all her energy and free time to raising the baby. It wasn't the same in families as it is now, but eight to ten children! So the woman watched sons and daughters continuously. As a rule, from the age of five to seven, children already independently perform household work, a specific occupation corresponding to a certain age of the child.
  • ⏩ The girls were instructed to look after small children, sweep the house, clean up the dishes, etc. Teenage girls were gradually taught the main female occupation — sewing and embroidery. There were jobs that children of both sexes were still involved in, such as picking mushrooms and berries.
  • ⏩ So, from childhood, children learn the division into socio-gender roles through work and labor education. In the family upbringing of the child, the continuity of professional knowledge, and training in trades and crafts were important. If the mother was a weaver, then she tried to pass on to her daughter all the secrets of the weaving craft. This tradition formed the basis for the hereditary transfer of professional skills from parents to children, which contributed to the emergence of dynasties and the creation of art centers.
  • ⏩ Of course, there was no time for training or self-development. Nevertheless, there are many outstanding women in the history of Ukraine who were not only good mothers and housewives but also did great deeds.

​Famous Slavic Women

  • Sainted Ukrainian Princess Olga. From ancient times Ukrainian husbands and wives have had equal rights in marriage. An example of a woman's independence in solving not only family problems but also state ones is Princess Olga. Grand Duchess Olga became the first woman ruler whom the church considers a saint. Slavic Princess Olga cared about the development of the country and made many changes. She introduced clear rules for collecting tribute from the Slavs — so people understood how much and what they had to pay to the princes for the protection of their lands from enemies.
  • Roksolana (Anastasia Lisovska). A striking example of a bright Slavic woman is Roksolana. Anastasia Lisovska, the daughter of a Ukrainian priest from the town of Rohatyn in Galicia (now Ivano-Frankivsk region), went down in history as Roksolana — influential lady-sultan. Nastya's middle name in the harem was Hurem — "the one who laughs" because the sultan's favorite had a cheerful mood and a sharp tongue, a smile never left her face. One of the most educated Slavic women of her time, Roxolana received foreign ambassadors, responding to messages from foreign rulers, influential nobles, and artists. European monarchs, first of all, sent messengers to her, and not to Suleiman.
  • Marusya Churai. The famous Marusya Churai composed many well-known and still wonderful songs about Ukrainian Cossacks, Ukraine, and love. Marusya had an interesting fate. She did not forgive the betrayal and poisoned her unfaithful lover. She was sentenced to death. Gratefully to her bright talent, the girl has got forgiveness from Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky.


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