Every crisis is a woman’s crisis, and the Ukraine crisis is no different. In Ukraine, the escalation of the conflict on 24 February 2022 has unravelled complex and multiple gendered impacts. These effects include the increase of women’s responsibilities as carers and breadwinners and a rise in gender-based violence such as domestic violence, conflict-related sexual violence, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and abuse. As a result, survivors face a wide range of risks, such as unwanted pregnancies and psychological and physical trauma.
While being disproportionately affected by the conflict, women in Ukraine have demonstrated outstanding and unwavering solidarity, leadership, and courage to support and deliver assistance to the most vulnerable. They have done so whilst maintaining their caring responsibilities for children, the chronically ill, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Well-established Ukrainian women’s rights organizations (WROs) and women-led organizations (WLOs) were among the first to provide emergency aid to those in need before international organizations arrived. They continue to drive efforts to meet the needs of the most vulnerable groups, especially women and girls, and those who do not want or are not able to leave.
This briefing note, published on the eve of the one-year mark of the escalation of the war in Ukraine, follows on from CARE’s six-month statement developed with some of its partners and which considered the gaps in the participation and inclusion of women’s organizations in the humanitarian response to the crisis. This briefing provides an overview of the key and systemic funding challenges faced by WROs and WLOs in Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, and Romania. Its content, including its recommendations, is informed by the direct contributions from CARE’s WRO/WLO partners and other women’s organizations operating in those countries.