Yulija Romashko from our partner organisation Slavic Heart. Photo: Oksana Parafeniuk

The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation in Ukraine

Kvinna till Kvinna has supported women’s rights in Ukraine since 2014 through cooperation with organisations working for women’s rights. When Russia's full-scale invasion started, the organisations that we support had to shift their work to respond to urgent humanitarian needs, helping women exposed to violence, internally displaced women, and families. As the war continues, women’s rights organisations also bring the needs and priorities of women to decision-making processes, including the recovery plans for Ukraine.

In our Ukraine programme, we support organisations focusing on the needs and rights of diverse women, including LBTQ women and women with disabilities. Partner organisations of Kvinna till Kvinna work in both big and small cities, in the west where majority of internally displaced persons are settled and closer to the frontline in the eastern parts of Ukraine.

Why we work in Ukraine

Ukraine has been affected by war since 2014 and Kvinna till Kvinna has been supporting women’s rights organisations ever since then. As all wars, the war in Ukraine has specific consequences for women and Russia’s full-scale invasion has created a large-scale humanitarian crisis with millions of displaced people, of whom women are the majority.

The expertise in meeting the needs of diverse women, including LBTQ women and women with disabilities during the conflict is many times lacking in the general humanitarian response. Gender-based violence, including domestic violence and conflict-related sexual violence, is a major threat to the security of women, and women’s rights organisations play a crucial role in responding to it, offering life-saving support to women victims/survivors.

How we support women in Ukraine

Kvinna till Kvinna’s partner organisations provide lifesaving and gender sensitive support to rights holders. They already have the trust of women, who feel that they can seek help and process traumatic experiences and they also have a unique competence in working with a do-no-harm approach. This is of utmost importance in not causing further traumatisation for survivors.

Apart from direct financial support to partner organisations, Kvinna till Kvinna facilitates exchanges between Ukrainian activists and activists working in other conflict-affected countries, contributing to knowledge, inspiration, and a sense of solidarity for partner organisations that often find themselves disconnected and isolated in their work.

Kvinna till Kvinna also provides support to partner organisations in their work with influencing important decision-making processes. In 2023, Kvinna till Kvinna went to Brussels with a delegation of women activists from Ukraine to meet with actors related to Ukraine’s EU candidacy, demanding for women’s rights to be part of that process.

Halyna Fedkovych and Marta Chumalo, Women’s Perspectives. Photo: Jakub Bors/TOWER FILMS

Together with our partner organisations in Ukraine, we provide:

  • legal suport to survivors of gender-based violence.
  • psychosocial support to rights holders, including LBTQ women and women with disabilities.
  • training and support to police and civil servants to improve the protection of survivors of gender-based violence.
  • expertise and awareness raising of women’s needs and priorities in the recovery of Ukraine.

Policy Brief—A Feminist Response to the Recovery of Ukraine

Leading up to the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London between June 21st and 22nd, The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation has gathered knowledge, perspectives, and messages from our partner organisations in Ukraine, on the gendered impacts of Russia’s war, and how recovery and reconstruction can be inclusive and gender responsive.

It is crucial that the guiding principles identified and adopted by the government of Ukraine and the international community—including on gender equality, inclusion, and sustainabilityare put into practice in the investments into the future of Ukraine.

 

Download policy brief »

Our partner organisations in Ukraine

  • D.O.M.48.24

    The organisation was founded in 2015 in Ivano-Frankivsk by a group of internally displaced persons that had fled from the East of Ukraine. The main target group for the organisation is internally displaced persons in and around Ivano-Frankivsk.

    The organisation has worked with issues related to gender-based violence since 2018, running a shelter for survivors of gender-based violence, providing legal counselling and offering programming on social entrepreneurship training for survivors, providing opportunities for survivors to gain professional development.

    After the full-scale invasion, the organisation provided immediate support to an increased influx of internally displaced persons including shelter, humanitarian aid, psychosocial and legal support. With support from Kvinna till Kvinna, they run a daily crisis centre, offering holistic support to victims/survivors of gender-based violence.

     

  • Fight For Right

    Founded in 2017, Fight For Right works for the rights of people with disabilities in Ukraine—to ensure that every person with disabilities knows their human rights and is free to exercise them. The organisation is also advocates for the protection of human rights of persons with disabilities at the national, regional and local level.

    With the support from Kvinna till Kvinna, Fight For Right reduces the psychological burden for women with disabilities suffering from consequences of the war by providing legal consultation, psychological support and coordination support, for example for those needing to relocate within Ukraine. Moreover, they work to increase the level of visibility and consideration of the needs of women with disabilities in the planning of humanitarian actions.

     

  • Insha

    Insha was formed in 2014 in Kherson as a feminist LBTQ inclusive organisation, working to solidarise and consolidate the efforts of feminists and LBTQ activists in the fight for equal rights, gender equality and non-discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation. Their areas of work include protection of women’s rights, protection of LGBTQ rights and promoting the elimination of inequality in all its manifestations. From March to November 2022, the city of Kherson was occupied by Russian forces during their invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian forces liberated the city on November 11th, 2022.

    With the support from Kvinna till Kvinna, Insha is working to overcome the negative consequences of the occupation on women and queer people in Kherson. This is done through the provision of psychological assistance, including individual counselling, mid-term therapy and peer support groups. The organisation also works with psychologists, providing them with skills and knowledge on crisis counselling for those affected by the war, as well as counselling LGBT people and victims of gender-based violence in war conditions.

     

  • Slavic Heart

    Slavic Heart was founded in 2014 in Sviatohirsk, Donetsk region, to provide comprehensive assistance to populations affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, they have scaled up their work. The organisation runs women’s centres in the eastern parts of Ukraine, with special attention to the needs of women living along the contact line, women with disabilities, internally displaced persons, Roma women, elderly women and women living with HIV.

    With the support from Kvinna till Kvinna, Slavic Heart works to increase the level of protection from gender-based violence and conflict-related gender-based violence for women living in Dnipropetrovska and Poltavska oblasts, including internally displaced women. This is done through awareness-raising activities on protection mechanisms against gender-based violence and conflict-related sexual violence for women, as well as providing legal support. Representatives of the state response system are also trained by Slavic Heart to improve their knowledge on how to respond to cases of gender-based violence and conflict-related sexual violence, using a victim-centered approach.

     

  • Sphere

    Since 2008, the organisation Sphere has worked to unite the women of Kharkiv, including lesbian and bisexual women. They work to raise awareness of the diversity of sexual, gender and other identities, and promote human rights, gender equality, equal rights and opportunities for women—in particular for LBQ+ women. Moreover, they focus on empowerment and mobilisation of vulnerable women and LGBTQI+ communities in the Kharkiv region, and in Ukraine overall.

    With the support from Kvinna till Kvinna, Sphere provides women of target regions with individual psychosocial support. Apart from individual support, the organisation has a Women’s Networking Programme, with moderated meetings to support women in coping with the issues that arise during war. They also work to increase the visibility of women during the ongoing war, increasing equality and strengthening the position of women in the Ukrainian society.

     

  • Women’s Perspectives

    Women’s Perspectives is a non-governmental organisation that has worked with the aim of protecting women’s rights and ensuring gender equality since 1998. Their main focus areas include the elimination of discrimination against women, combating domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence, and the promotion of gender equality at all levels of decision-making.

    With the support from Kvinna till Kvinna, Women’s Perspectives’ local teams provide services and support to survivors of gender-based violence. Moreover, they train psychotherapists, shelters/social services for internally displaced persons, and representatives from centres for free legal aid from different regions of Ukraine to increase their knowledge and skills on a holistic approach to gender-based violence survivors’ rights protection, case management and services for women affected by war and violence.

     

Statements by our secretary-general

Learn more

No end in sight—the women of Ukraine need our continued commitment

23 February 2024

“We are really saving lives”

A better and safer world for women—that was the goal when the organisation Slavic Heart was founded. Today, they offer legal and psychosocial support to victims and survivors of gender-based violence in Ukraine.

22 December 2023

Fighting gender-based violence in western Ukraine

Amid Russian air raids, Women’s Perspectives in Ukraine continue to help women who have suffered from gender-based violence. They fear that violence against women won’t be a priority once the full-scale invasion ends.

21 December 2023

The increase of gender-based violence in Ukraine amidst Russia’s full-scale invasion

In the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, many accounts of sexual violence committed by Russian forces have begun to surface. And while the media and press focus on these atrocities, women in Ukraine face other types of violence that won’t receive nearly as much attention.

12 December 2023

Standing up for the rights of people with disabilities in Ukraine

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion, Fight For Right has provided humanitarian aid and evacuation assistance to people with disabilities. With their unique expertise, they are ready to contribute to an inclusive recovery process for Ukraine.

5 December 2023

Supporting internally displaced persons and women’s rights in Ukraine

When Russia first invaded Ukraine in 2014, Nataliya Vyshnevetska was forced to flee her hometown in eastern Ukraine. Together with others in the same situation, she founded an organisation promoting women’s rights and supporting internally displaced persons—whose voices are heard all too little, she says.

4 September 2023