The invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of February came as a shock to the country and the world. This Rapid Gender Analysis Brief seeks to draw the attention of those engaged with Ukraine in humanitarian operations to the most significant gender issues - both existing and emerging - and propose measures to address them.
Like all military operations, this one will take its toll on many communities within Ukraine, with distinct effects on women, men, children and marginalised groups. The starkest example is the current contrast between the requirement that Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 years stay and join the fighting, and media images of mostly women, children and the elderly fleeing the country.
Ukraine has made modest gains on women’s rights in recent years and has a developing state-level ‘gender machinery’. These gains were already under threat from deeply entrenched and persistent gender and discrimination-based inequalities, eight years of conflict in the east of the country, and the gendered social and economic stress wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. This current crisis, with mass displacement inside and outside Ukraine, will add to that complex situation and put pressure on any gains that have been made.
Humanitarian actors need to build on the advances in gender equality and women’s empowerment by Ukrainian women’s rights, women-led and civil society organisations, and work with them to identify and respond to the different humanitarian needs of women, men, boys, girls and people of all genders. This Rapid Gender Analysis Brief for Ukraine and the Gender in Crisis Ukraine infographic are a first attempt to identify the gender, age, and diversity issues so that humanitarian responses can better meet people’s different needs as the crisis evolves.