Women's movement. In Ukraine the development of organized groups of women sharing common goals and common interests was hampered by the nonexistence of a Ukrainian state and the severe limitations placed upon Ukrainian community organizations by various foreign authorities. Instead the thrust of the women's movement in Ukraine was similar to that under all colonial regimes: it addressed the needs of the entire community, and not only of women. Organized Ukrainian women sought to expand the role of women in existing institutions and the national-liberation struggle and to ameliorate poverty, disease, and illiteracy.
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Because they represented Ukrainian nationals living in other sovereign states, the organization solidified their struggle for gender recognition with one for nationalist aims. Formed in Lviv in , the organization did not focus on traditional feminist issues of equality and political agency until after they had built up a base membership and helped improve the social and economic lives of the peasantry which made up the majority of their membership. Unlike Western-style feminist organizations, the UWU was not primarily made up of elites, nor did it focus on attainment of political agency for women.