Appeal by the Feminist Collective of the European Network of Solidarity with Ukraine

The war in Ukraine is a highly gendered conflict. Gender-based violence has significantly increased following the full-scale invasion by Russia (including rape as a war weapon, increase of domestic violence, torture of women and their exposure to their children’s and relatives’ torture). Millions of women have been displaced (internally and externally) and exposed to overexploitation and all kinds of violence. These women face real difficulties in gaining access to waged labour, housing, as well as abortion and reproductive health services in Ukraine and in neighboring countries where they have sought refuge, notably Poland.

At the same time, Ukrainian women carry the bulk of reproductive work necessary for the resistance. Women are participating very actively in the resistance, some of them are fighters, many of them have become the main providers for their families. Women are disproportionately responsible for social reproduction labour, which has been increasingly threatened by the Russian destruction as well as being privatized in a context of militarization as well as the austerity budgets imposed by the International Financial Institutions. This social reproduction labour, however, is just as essential to the Ukrainian resistance as the much more recognized and waged defense labour.

Who cares for the carers?

In this context, feminist activists have joined the resistance while addressing the specific gendered issues women face. They focus on women’s specific needs in the context of war – often overlooked and made invisible – such as medical and psychological care, menstrual hygiene products, baby formula, etc. These activists care for the women who care for the whole population and make any resistance possible. However, the recent Russian all-out attacks on the country’s infrastructures and the resulting electricity cuts make these feminist activists’ work often impossible. So, let’s get together to (em)power our Ukrainian sisters!

The Feminist Collective of the European Network of Solidarity with Ukraine is raising funds to support the humanitarian and activist work carried out by four feminist collectives. The funds collected will be fully divided between Feminist Workshop, Feminist Lodge, FemSolution and Bilkis.

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