The Ukrainian military is one of the most feminized armed forces in Europe, according to the country’s deputy minister of defense. The common experience of war brings an understanding of the scale and nature of the contributions that Ukraine’s women are making to protect and defend their country. This shared understanding, reinforced by everyday encounters with women veterans who are friends, neighbours and family, might mean these women’s experiences will be valued in the years to come. Ukraine’s commitment towards addressing women’s needs and rights is reflected in the government’s strategic documents for the next decade.
“The authorities in Israel show no understanding https://thegirlcanwrite.net/ toward Ukrainian women’s plight and treat their claims with great suspicion. Even when there is clear evidence for their claims, reality shows that there is no desire to move the wheels of justice and ‘waste’ public resources for the benefit of a foreign woman,” she says. Some details of the alleged crimes have been reported in the local media. In May, an Ashdod resident in his fifties was arrested and indicted for the alleged rape of a 19-year-old Ukrainian woman who had fled the war.
In July, her family was shaken when Ukrainian grain tycoon Oleksiy Vadaturksy and his wife were killed by a Russian missile while sleeping in their home in Mykolaiv. Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the effects have been felt far and wide. Even before the war, the price of basic foods for millions of people was rising due to the climate crisis and COVID 19-related supply chain issues. The pandemic caused the number of food-insecure people around the world to double, to 276 million, according to the World Food Programme. Said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had plunged some 71 million more people into poverty, most of them in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, sparking fears of social unrest and outbreaks of new famines. Between the start of the war and May, the price of wheat across Africa went up by nearly half, according to the African Development Bank. “My nervous system is shot,” Ivanova says, standing on the edge of her sun-kissed land.
According to Kvit, despite gradual changes in the status of women in the military, sexual harassment is not well defined in Ukrainian law, there are still no relevant procedures to deal with it in the army, and it remains underreported. Shortly after the first Russian missiles hit Mariupol, she was ordered to join forces defending the city’s smaller steel plant, known as Azovmash, and then moved on to the besieged Azovstal steelworks.
Kyiv, Ukraine – In May, 26-year-old Ukrainian military nurse Viktoria Obidina was forced to part with her four-year-old daughter. Former prisoners of war, swapped in a recent deal, say they were subjected to starvation and other forms of abuse. Today, some of the Ukrainians in Israel are holding out hope that the new incoming government will do more to help them. The resources made available for supporting women who have been trafficked upon arrival in Israel are scarce. “In the past several months, this has become a vulnerability issue,” she adds, explaining that women are often at risk particularly because they are so dependent on others for survival. The Times of Israel visited twice in December and was prevented from seeing the rooms on both occasions.
With the real risk of sexual exploitation or human trafficking, women are trusted more readily when it comes to registering those internally displaced by the war, a number currently put at more than 4.5 million. They organize transport to take the displaced to safety in neighbouring countries, and female psychologists are providing mental health counselling after the First Lady, Olena Zelenska, launched a programme of psycho-social support with UN agencies.
But Ukraine’s women soldiers are increasingly being accepted by Ukrainian society and the country’s political leadership during this war. Thousands of women have voluntarily joined Ukraine’s armed forces since 2014, when Russia’s occupation of Crimea and territories in eastern Ukraine began. Over the past nine years, the number of women serving in the Ukrainian military has more than doubled, with another wave of women joining after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. “The Ukrainian military has tried to adopt more equal policies, but those have faced pushback from Ukrainian society, which largely sees women’s place in society as guardians of the home and family,” political science professor says. Headlines about the prominence of Ukrainian women on the front lines of war are misleading, said Jessica Trisko Darden, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at VCU’s College of Humanities and Sciences. “The Ukraine war echoes a global pattern where national militaries accept women in larger numbers than in the past — yet relegate women to roles that distance them from front-line combat,” she wrote in a recent column in The Washington Post.
The Ukrainian military has tried to adopt more equal policies, but those have faced pushback from Ukrainian society, which largely sees women’s place in society as guardians of the home and family. This past year, I’ve been focused on how the human cost of the war has been felt unevenly, as Iwrote in the Washington Postlast March. Part of why the human cost is uneven is due to Ukrainian military policy decisions.