In the days since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, more than 1m Ukrainians have fled the country. As men between the ages of 18 and 60 remain to fight the Russian forces, the majority of the refugees leaving Ukraine are women and children.
Ukrainian women’s lives are being placed at risk as a result of the attack. An estimated 80,000 women will give birth in the next three months in Ukraine, as some pregnant women have already been forced to give birth in bomb shelters with a lack of medicine and equipment. Experts also warn that women in Ukraine will endure sexual violence wielded as a weapon of war, as crisis and displacement put them at increased risk of gender-based violence.
On International Women’s Day 2022 – which takes place on Tuesday 8 March – and in the days that follow, it is important to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian women impacted by the humanitarian crisis. Here are some of the ways in which you can support women in Ukraine.
Donate to funds prioritizing the support and protection of women and girls, both internationally and at the grassroots level.
UN Women has established a fund to address the needs of Ukrainian women and girls, by working closely with women’s civil society organisations, the UN Resident Coordinator, and the UN Country Team to deliver aid on the ground.
Save The Children, a UK organization based in London, developed the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund to provide children and families with food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support and cash assistance.
Host A Sister is an online community that started in 2019 to help women and nonbinary individuals find free accommodation, and has now pivoted to a community of women helping refugees. Transport A Sister, which was started by a member of the Host A Sister community, is organizing transport for people fleeing from Ukraine free of charge.
CARE’s Ukraine Crisis Fund aims to rush water, food, and hygiene kits to four million Ukrainians, especially women and children.
Global Empowerment Mission, in partnership with Bethenny Frankel’s BStrong, is using donations to pay for basic needs, relocation assistance, and stability housing.
Voices of Children has provided psychological and psychosocial support to children affected by war in Ukraine since 2015.
Two experienced aid workers set up a crowdfund to provide urgent support to women human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine. Amy Greenbank and Almut Rochowanski – a UK-based activist and a women’s rights activist with connections in the Ukraine, respectively – have collaborated with women activist groups in Ukraine since 2014. As of 2 March, the crowdfund has raised £4,600 to send to at least 17 women’s human rights defenders.
Apart from women and children, vulnerable communities such as BIPOC Ukrainian refugees, disabled Ukrainians, and LGBTQ people are being discriminated against at the border as they flee Ukraine. This one-page site offers a compiled list of where to donate to help vulnerable communities affected by the war.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.