Dolidovich O. M. Ladies’ committee of the Russian Red Cross Society Barnaul division during early XX c. wars pp.138-146

The article describes the history of creation and the main directions of the ladies’ committee of Barnaul division of the Russian Red Cross Society during the Russian-Japanese War and World War I. The subject of the analysis is the question of the interaction between division management and a ladies’ charity committee within the division; their mutual expectations and claims to each other and the reasons for this attitude. In the Siberian provinces the first women’s charities in the pre-revolutionary period in most cases were created within Russian Red Cross Society’s local committees and departments. These ladies’ committees during early XX c. wars gained experience of independent work in the women’s voluntary associations, which became the basis for the further development of their civic consciousness.
The study is based on the materials of the State Archives of Altai Krai, reports and minutes of meetings of the Division and the ladies’ committee as well as on the Siberian periodicals of the pre-revolutionary period.
It is shown that the relationship between the board of Barnaul De-partment of the Russian Red Cross Society and ladies’ charity committee in its structure were not that of partnership. Management and ladies committee differed in understanding the goals and objectives of charitable activities, as well as in the degree of freedom of actions. General Directorate of Russian Red Cross Society centrally managed all the donated funds, it implemented austerity policy. Local branches calmly and with understanding reacted to the total control from the center. In turn, they created the Ladies’ Committees and considered them only as a temporary structure with support functions (collection of material and monetary donations, delivering linen and gifts to the theatre of operations, care for the wounded). Therefore, the activities of women’s committees were closely monitored; the ladies did not have the right to solve any questions independently. Members of women’s committees were working voluntarily without receiving financial reward for their work; they expected to be trusted, supported and respected. Cooperation taking into account mutual interests seemed only natural. However in response they received total control aimed at limiting and suppressing their initiative and aspirations. read in PDF>>>