UN Women reports that political instability and conflict have had a significant detrimental impact on gender equality and the situation of women in the country.
Embracing the World, Europe, has donated ₹1 crore (€115,000) to support Safe Spaces for Women and Children, a UN Women project for people affected by the war in different parts of Ukraine. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Amrita e.V. Indienhilfe, a special function was organized at the Oberanger Theater in Munich, Germany.
Since the start of the war on February 24, 2022, more than 3000 women have been confirmed dead in attacks that have wrecked homes and civilian structures across the country. According to the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, women account for nearly 40 percent of the over 21,000 civilian casualties recorded in 2022. Of the estimated 79 lakh (7.9 million) internally displaced people in Ukraine, women now constitute at least 90 percent.
Upon making the donation, a symbolic cheque was handed over to Corinna Witzel, Executive Director of UN Women Germany, by Swami Shubamritananda Puri, representative of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math in Europe, along with representatives from many countries of Embracing the World, Europe. Indian Ambassador to Germany, Parvathaneni Harish; Indian Consul General of Munich, Mohit Yadav; and German actors Ralf Bauer and Adnan Maral also attended.
“It is my great honour to be here today,” said Ms. Witzelin in her address. “Let me congratulate on behalf of the whole UN Women National Committee of Germany. I am very impressed and deeply touched by your amazing and wonderful work. I would like to thank Embracing the World and Amma for your commitment, your humanity, and your charity. You are truly role models for the whole world.”
Ambassador Harish said, “As Chair of the Civil Society Engagement Group under India’s Presidency of G20 2023, Amma chose the motto ‘You are the Light’ through which she has transformed the common citizens from being recipients of assistance and external support into empowered individuals. They are able to look at themselves as the light and contribute to their own development, as well as their families, and become active participants of transformation in their own societies.”
A Rapid Gender Analysis carried out by UN Women and partners revealed that women were being disproportionately affected by the crisis in several ways. In the face of ongoing security threats, women and girls are experiencing increased gender-based violence—including intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, and conflict-related sexual violence. Deteriorating socio-economic conditions further exacerbate this threat, heightening rates of sexual exploitation, trafficking, and other forms of violence. Twelve months in, support services remain insufficient to meet survivors’ needs.
Seeing the situation on the ground, UN Women decided to create the Safe Spaces for Women and Children programme. Each space provides crucial resources and services that displaced women have had trouble accessing. They distribute hygiene kits, educational resources, and offer forms of support, including psychological counselling for both adults and children, access to legal advice, and information about local employment and housing resources and survivor services.
They also offer childcare, with a dedicated child-friendly space in each location. They can take part in yoga or meditation classes, join learning sessions on preventing discrimination and addressing different forms of violence against women, and attend workshops that help them build employment and other skills.
Since October 2022, interventions by UN Women and its partners for this initiative have reached conflict-affected women and children across the country under the project Building Democratic, Peaceful and Gender Equal Society in Ukraine.