Today marks one year since Russia launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine – a war that continues to take an incalculable toll on the Ukrainian people.
Russia’s assault on Ukraine has been relentless, causing enormous casualties and massive destruction. Putin has disdained international laws on humanitarian protection and engaged in war crimes and crimes against humanity: raining rocket attacks on people in their homes, hospitals and schools; forcibly deporting Ukrainians to Russia, including separating children from their families; using rape as a weapon of war; engaging in torture and other barbaric acts. The attack on Ukraine is an attack on its freedom, territorial integrity and independence. It is an attack on its very identity and right to exist.
The world has witnessed the courage, heroism, and steadfast commitment to democracy of the Ukrainian people despite a daily onslaught.
At GIWPS, we have focused on the work of brave Ukrainian women in contributing to the war effort across many spheres: struggling to keep their children safe despite being driven from their homes and displaced; comprising almost 25% of the armed forces; bravely leading independent media; documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity; spearheading critical humanitarian work; running civil society organizations and starting businesses to meet critical needs; serving as parliamentarians and government officials; and powerfully advocating with governments for the weapons Ukraine needs to overcome Russia’s aggression. For our part, we continue to support them and their efforts and honor their courage and vital leadership.
On this anniversary, it is time for the free world to do all it can to equip Ukraine to prevail militarily against Russia’s aggression. It is time to redouble our efforts to provide desperately needed assistance to a people suffering. A time to ensure that there will be accountability and justice for the crime of aggression and crimes against humanity through the establishment of a special tribunal and other mechanisms. This must happen now. Ukraine’s freedom and ultimately our collective freedom hang in the balance.
A Message from Nobel Prize Winner Oleksandra Matviichuk
Oleksandra Matviichuk, a human rights lawyer and a recipient of the 2022 Hillary Rodham Clinton Award, shares her reflections on the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
“Ukrainian women are at the forefront of this battle for freedom and democracy,” she said.
Upcoming Event: Georgetown Conference on War in Ukraine
On March 2, GIWPS is co-sponsoring a conference on “War in Ukraine” with the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
The event brings a diverse group of scholars and policymakers together – including Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Oksana Markarova and former U.S. Ambassadors to Ukraine John F. Tefft and John E. Herbst – to explore the impact of the war on Ukrainian society, dynamics of reconciliation across religious communities and civil society, and the domestic and international dynamics of post-war reconstruction within the country.
Inclusive Recovery: Recommendations to Engage Women in Ukraine’s Reconstruction
Women’s participation in the design and implementation of Ukraine’s recovery programs is critical to maximize the effectiveness of the reconstruction process, take into account differentiated needs, and bolster post-conflict development.
- Promote women’s participation, leadership, and decision-making in Ukraine’s planning frameworks and recovery process.
- Ensure new funding enables women’s active participation in Ukraine’s recovery and advances gender equality.
- Establish a gender-sensitive monitoring mechanism for the Ukrainian government to report on recovery progress and collect and analyze sex-disaggregated data.
- Prioritize the re-establishment of critical social infrastructure and services.
- Integrate gender equality in Ukraine’s EU accession commitments.
View our full list of recommendations.
Hillary Rodham Clinton Honors Ukrainian Women Leaders
In December 2022, GIWPS hosted the Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards, where we honored four Ukrainian women doing extraordinary work to fight for democracy: First Lady Olena Zelenska; Nobel Prize winner and human rights lawyer Oleksandra Matviichuk; Director of Strategic Development of the Ukrainian Women’s Fund Natalia Karbowska; and Government Commissioner for Gender Equality Policy Kateryna Levchenko. These videos summarize the work each is doing to bring peace and justice to the Ukrainian people.
In Case You Missed It
Over the past year, GIWPS has continued to spotlight Ukrainian women. We amplified their voices and calls to action through programs on realizing women, peace and security in Ukraine and confronting Russian aggression.