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some 8 million women and girls will need humanitarian assistance

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some 8 million women and girls will need humanitarian assistance

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory, an estimated 3,238 women and girls have died and another 4,872 have been injured; Furthermore, 56% of the approximately four million internally displaced people are women.

The forecast for this year is bleak, as women and girls represent 56% of those expected to need humanitarian aid (eight million women and girls). These constant attacks on women and their livelihoods are unacceptable.

Two years after the outbreak of the armed conflict, women in Ukraine face greater difficulties in accessing security, justice, social services, mental, sexual and reproductive health services, employment and other essential services .

Currently, 72% of people registered as unemployed are women. The war also significantly increased the risk of gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence, human trafficking and intimate partner violence.

Firefighters douse flames at a train station that was hit by a Russian attack in Kostantinovka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Alex Babenko)

The angular stone

Amid the unprecedented challenges of war, women have become the cornerstone of the Ukrainian economy. Currently, one in two companies in the country is founded by a woman. In 2023 alone, Ukrainian women led the creation of more than 10 thousand new companies. In addition, more than 62 thousand women serve in the Army, of which 43,479 are in active service and more than five thousand are stationed at the front.

“As women continue to suffer the consequences of the war in Ukraine, they need support, security and, above all, peace. Their resilience has at all times been commendable and notable. “I reiterate UN Women’s solidarity and admiration for all women in Ukraine who support their family, their community and their country, whether by providing humanitarian assistance, exercising leadership roles or contributing to recovery and reconstruction,” highlighted the representative of UN Women in Urania, Sabine Freizer Gunes.

Women and women-led organizations play an important role in providing humanitarian assistance, supporting their communities and sustaining the economy.

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Overcome problems

“As an internally displaced person and a professional psychologist, I have helped other women overcome their problems, such as forced displacement, violence and unemployment. In my role as a project coordinator in the city of Sambir, we organize various activities, such as psychological and psychotherapeutic groups, art and English classes,” explains Anastasiia Pyrohova, from Women’s Perspectives, one of the 40 civil society organizations those supported by UN Women.

This specialized United Nations agency works in Ukraine providing humanitarian response to more than 45 thousand women and girls; Furthermore, in 2023, it indirectly helped 100,000 dependent people through life-saving humanitarian assistance and the provision of psychological support, legal assistance, and referrals to social services. That same year, UN Women disbursed US$10.6 million from the United States to support women and women-led civil society organizations across the country.

It also cooperates closely with the Government and civil society to continue promoting laws and policies that support gender equality and the empowerment of women. Women are also being economically empowered through support for livelihood recovery, skills development, business support and access to employment within the framework of initiatives such as the Women’s Entrepreneurship Expo. “Despite the prevailing violence, Ukrainian women continue to move towards a more equal society and deserve our support,” concluded Sabine Freizer Gunes.

Reconstruction will require US$486 billion

Russia’s large-scale war against Ukraine, which began two years ago on February 24, has claimed thousands of lives, caused untold destruction, displaced millions of people, traumatized an entire generation, It has torn families and entire communities apart and devastated the economy. The World Bank, the European Commission, the United Nations and the Government of Ukraine estimate that the total cost of Ukraine’s reconstruction and recovery will amount to US$486 billion over the next decade. This war, like all wars, takes a greater toll on women and girls, who suffer disproportionately.

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