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She also stated that entry points for woman activists striving to make change should start at the community based levels and that involving the day to day people will build better awareness. Martsenyuk stressed that certain words common to promoting women’s rights, such as “gender” and “feminist,” are politically poisonous in Ukraine. Ukrainians are supportive of the principle of equality for women as long as specific legislation or policy is framed without feminist terms.
She and her team have spent the past eight years documenting some 28,000 Russian war crimes in Ukraine, from murder and torture to rape. She describes Russian treatment of Ukrainians as showing ‘genocidal intent’. ‘A Ukrainian woman can do anything.’ These words from Maryna Popatenko, Ukraine’s deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, capture the critical role women have had to play as their country has come under attack from Russia. Mother and daughter were in a filtration camp for Ukrainian prisoners of war captured in the southern city of Mariupol, and Obidina was about to be whisked away to a Russian detention centre.
There also appeared new smaller teams such as Rodyna out of Kostopil in Volhynia and eastern Podollia teams around Uman. In 2008 there was introduced winter break competition which became regular later since 2013.
A politically weak Ukraine, with high levels of corruption, will be prey to future attacks and the West may hesitate to continue to support its independence. Ukrainians are already looking to a future free of Russian interference. Political leaders are calling for international support to finance the reconstruction of the country – a cost estimated at between $350 billion and $750 billion and rising. Oleksandra Matviichuk, a human rights lawyer, is the director of Kyiv’s Centre for Civil Liberties, which shared the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.
There, she lived in “inhuman” conditions with 28 other women in a cell designed for four. But the hardest part was “being cut off from the outside world,” she said. In mid-May, Panina was among hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered to an uncertain fate after weeks of hiding in bunkers and tunnels at Azovstal. She was then held captive for four and a half months in the notorious Russian-controlled Olenivka prison in Donetsk, where dozens of captives were killed in a deadly strike in July.
As of 2014, when Russia invaded Crimea, women were still barred from combat roles. It wasn’t until 2018 that female soldiers were finally given the same status as men — and, according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, women now account for close to a one-fifth of Ukraine’s armed forces. Unlike men of conscription age, Ukrainian women are not barred from leaving the country. An initiative to extend the draft to women working in critical professions was due to be enacted last October, but it was postponed amid popular outcry.
Women tend to lead small business in retail, wholesale trade and catering.
Jessica Trisko Darden, Ph.D., an assistant professor in theDepartment of Political Scienceat Virginia Commonwealth University’sCollege of Humanities and Sciences, is an expert on gender and political violence. Martsenyuk suggested that in order for the issues of women in politics to be less controversial, a younger generation must become involved and female leaders should launch more programs for women in order to raise their interest in politics.