Gender Related Social Groups

Based on the differential status conferred on men and women, it can be said that Ukrainian society is patriarchal. However, general social structures such as the family are not obviously male oriented or female oriented. Residence patterns vary greatly in Ukraine, which means that there is rarely a predictable difference between the importance of patrilineal or matrilineal kin. The ability to move around the country in terms of permanent residence was strictly limited during the Soviet period through laws requiring official registration at one's residence. It is very common to marry, age, and die in or near one's natal village, town, or city. This means that extended families are an important institution and source of social support, but there is no obvious hierarchy between matrilineal and patrilineal kin. However, since Ukrainian independence in 1991, the population has become much more mobile, and internal migration, migration between Ukraine and the successor states of the former Soviet Union, and international migration are all common. This means that the nuclear family is becoming more and more separated from extended kin.

For both men and women, the most important nonkin associations are work-place ties, which can be either formal or friendly in nature, and ties with former schoolmates. Since in Ukrainian schools pupils move through all the grades with the same cohort of fellow students, close and lasting friendships are forged between classmates. These friendships cross gender lines. A small number of women are members of women's civic organizations. Other clubs and interest groups tend to include members of both genders.

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