Women Empowerment

Press release: New UN policy paper shows devastating effects of war in Ukraine on women and girls


Developed by UN Women and the UN Global Crisis Response Group on the War in Ukraine (GCRG), the report shows that war-induced food price hikes and shortages have widened the global gap between gender in food insecurity, as women have even reduced their own food intake. contribution to give to other members of the household. Soaring energy prices have also pushed families back to using less clean fuels and technologies, exposing women and girls to household air pollution, which already kills 3.2 million people. mainly women and children, per year.

Female-headed households in Ukraine were already more food insecure before the war, with 37.5% experiencing moderate or severe levels of food insecurity, compared to 20.5% of female-headed households. men. Today, rural women in the territories occupied by the Russian army are increasingly unable to carry out agricultural work due to high insecurity and lack of resources, but they take up the challenge of sheltering and feeding internally displaced people, increasing their unpaid care and domestic work. responsibilities.

Furthermore, the report shows that there are alarming increases in gender-based violence; transactional sex for food and survival; sexual exploitation and trafficking; and early, early and forced marriages due to these aggravated living conditions in conflict, crisis and humanitarian contexts around the world.

Sima Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women, said: “Systemic and gender-based crises require systemic and gender-based solutions. This means ensuring that women and girls, including those from marginalized groups, are part of all decision-making processes. It is simply the only way to be certain that their rights and needs are fully considered as we respond to the clear facts before us.

Among other recommendations, the policy document calls on the international community to:

  • Prioritize the voice, agency, participation and leadership of women and girls in conflict response, recovery and peacebuilding;
  • Improve gender statistics and sex-disaggregated data to form the evidence base for gender-sensitive policies, planning and reconstruction measures, and to track and monitor the gendered impacts of food insecurity and energy poverty on women and girls;
  • Promote and protect the right to food by targeting the specific nutritional needs of women and girls, and accelerate transformation towards more equitable, gender-responsive and sustainable food systems, and equitable access to inputs, technologies and markets for women ; and
  • Ensure equal access to affordable and sustainable energy by creating fiscal space to enable access to energy and renewable energy solutions for all women and girls and their communities, through exceptional taxes on the biggest oil and gas companies and protecting women and girls and their communities from bearing the brunt of escalating fuel and energy prices.

The policy paper was presented at the high-level roundtable entitled “How can we best respond to the disproportionate impacts of growing food insecurity on women and girls?”, on the sidelines of the General Assembly of the United Nations, organized by the Government of Denmark and the Government of Nigeria in partnership with OCHA, UNHCR, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, WFP and Save the Children, as well as representatives of women-led organizations.

Read the full policy document and learn more about UN Women’s work in Ukraine.

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