Ukraine_Woman in white shirt and grey jersey holding paper and smiling
Photo: Tvoya Opora/CARE

Ukraine Recovery Conference: Gender equality and women’s participation must be prioritized

Lviv, June 19, 2023 - Ahead of the Ukraine Recovery Conference on 21-22 June in London, CARE calls on governments, donors and international organizations to ensure gender equality and participation of women are key components of the recovery process. So far, the priorities and needs of women are not being reflected in the recovery discussions as needed.

“The war in Ukraine affects women and girls disproportionately. Women and girls are facing a sharply increased risk of gender-based violence,” reports CARE Ukraine Country Director, Fabrice Martin. “Since the escalation of the war, women face more domestic violence and of course more conflict-related sexual violence. Sexual exploitation and abuse as well as human trafficking are a huge problem. An estimated 3.6 million people in Ukraine – 90 percent of them women and girls – will require gender-based violence prevention, risk mitigation and response services in 2023. There is a huge shortfall of funding to cover these needs. In 2022, funding to specific gender-based violence programming only represented 0.4 percent of humanitarian funding allocated to the Ukraine crisis.”

Ukraine_Women sitting at desk taking notes

Women attentending trainings at Zatyshno-Space, a safe space created for internally displaced Ukrainian women.

Women’s rights and programs to prevent and respond to gender-based violence are also often sidelined in discussions on recovery and reconstruction. Even though gender equality was one of the key principles of last year’s Recovery conference in Lugano, gender equality and participation of women have been discussed very little in reconstruction discussions so far. The result is that the specific needs of women and girls in the reconstruction process are hardly taken into account.

Martin states: “To be sustainable, reconstruction efforts must be grounded in gender equality and women’s leadership and participation. A reconstruction process without women and girls at the table ignores the priorities of half of the population in Ukraine and sidelines their needs. For women to have equal access to services they need opportunities to rebuild their lives, they must have a seat at the table to influence recovery plans and decisions.”

For media inquiries, please contact Halyna Bilak, Ukraine Communications Officer, CARE Germany via: [email protected]