From Women to Women: How to Support the People of Ukraine
In this blog, we talk about how the strength and courage of women are on display during the Ukraine crisis and how to support the people of Ukraine from afar.
"A woman is like a teabag—you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water" - Eleanor Roosevelt
The pandemic is not over, yet in the past weeks, we have seen the darkest hour in Europe ever since the second world war. We witnessed a president going down on the street fighting side-by-side with his people, villagers trying to stop military tanks with their bare hands, women and children preparing Molotov cocktails—leaders and civilians joined hands together to defend their precious homeland. They did not yield to their merciless attackers, giving them all for their families, friends, home, and country. We cannot remember when the last time the world was so moved by the bravery of people. And then we all saw Ukraine.
The strength of women during the Ukraine crisis
One of the heart-warming images that emerged from the Ukraine crisis is the strength and courage of women amid fear, helplessness, and hardships. A Ukrainian woman was seen confronting a Russian soldier and asking him to put her sunflower seeds in his pocket so the flowers would grow when he dies in her country; a 79-year old grandma joined a combat training; female volunteers help to prepare camouflage netting; a woman knocked down a Russian drone by throwing a jar of fermented tomatoes. From teacher to a female member of parliament, Ukrainian women join the men to battle in the resistance, because they know one thing—they need to work together to take their freedom back.
“She was powerful not because she wasn’t scared but because she went on so strongly, despite the fear” – Atticus
This month, we celebrated International Women’s Day, and the theme for this year is “Break the Bias”. In this period, we are reminded to celebrate the incredible achievement of women all around the world who break the gender bias—and Ukrainian women are no exception. In the past 20 years, we have seen a transformation in gender roles in the military. Fighting in the front line was traditionally seen as the military duty of men, and women were restricted to medical, auxiliary, and administrative roles. But today, many women have bent that bias and proven that they, too, deserve equality and equity, as we have seen during the Ukraine crisis.
Throughout history, women have always fought for their equal footing. We want to prove that a woman’s place is everywhere—gone are the days when our roles should be confined because of our gender. And over and over again, history has also proven that we are invincible and deserve our place in society and organizations.
In one of our Women in Leadership studies, we found that women outperform men in 21 out of 27 leadership challenges and that excluding women in leadership positions would mean that organizations miss 50% of their workforce and leadership potential. This cements the proof that when joining forces, together, men and women can achieve greater results.
One of the heart-warming images that emerged from the Ukraine crisis is the strength and courage of women amid fear, helplessness, and hardships.
How you can help and support the people of Ukraine from afar
Si vis pacem para bellum—if you want peace, prepare for war. Even already thousands of years ago, humans believe that war will always be a part of human society and peace is never a perpetual state, just like the Latin saying. This peace and aggression cycle stems from human nature—humans are naturally capable of both violence and peace. But the important question here is, how can we bring the best qualities of ourselves and others? I always wonder what the world looks like if humans act kind to each other. No shattered homes, no orphaned kids, no pregnant women having to flee, no men losing an entire family.
Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many Ukrainians right now. As a beautiful country has turned into a battleground in front of our eyes, everyone is affected—not only women, but also children, the elderly, men, pets, locals, foreigners, and many others. What can we do to support the people of Ukraine from afar?
Spread love and compassion
If you know someone in Ukraine, Ukrainians, or even those that have loved ones in Ukraine, tell them that you are thinking of them. Our support and warm words mean a lot to them, especially when time is grim. Be supportive, empathetic, and kind—because kindness is contagious, and so is positivity.
Read and watch reliable newsWe do not only witness a physical war, but we also witness a cyberwar. Make sure you read news from reliable sources that report real news and the voice of the people themselves. Just remember to take a break from reading all the news to not negatively affect your mental health.
- Donate to trustworthy organizations
The people of Ukraine need our financial support more than ever. Below is a list of some reliable organizations that are currently providing aid to the displaced nation.
- UN Women – UN Women organizes humanitarian responses for Ukrainian women and refugees.
- Kyiv Independent – an independent Kyiv-based news outlet that provides a detailed coverage for the war.
- IFAW – an animal shelter with a partner in Gorlovka, Ukraine. They are helping homeless pets and those that are abandoned by their owners due to the war situation.
- Save the Children – the non-profit organization helps children that are caught in the crossfire of war, such as in Afghanistan, Yemen, Ukraine.
- World Central Kitchen – a non-profit charity organization that has volunteers at the border crossings in Poland, serving meals for hungry refugees.
- Medecins Sans Frontières – an independent medical humanitarian organization that provides medical services in the war zone and conflict areas.
Let’s hope for a better tomorrow where we can all be kind to each other, support each other, and break the peace-aggression cycle that we, humans, have created for ourselves.
“Life will win over death, and light will win over darkness” – Volodymyr Zelenskyy