food, finance and energy are three of the interlocking pillars that sustain the world and are fundamental to the formation of the architecture of international security, solidarity and progress. Due to the ongoing and deepening turbulence of today’s “world in danger“These foundations have become fragile and the weakest bear the most of the burden.
As the UN hosts world leaders to discuss the war crisis in Ukraine and the recovery of global society from its aftermath as a whole, UN women focuses on how the conflict and its devastating waves are affecting women and girls worldwide.
On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) UN Women presented their latest urgency at a high-level roundtable with humanitarian headliners this week meager on the “Global Gender Impact of the Ukraine Crisis”, in which they report on the devastating and disproportionate effects of war on women.
Developed in collaboration with the UN Global Crisis Response Group on the War in Ukraine (GCRG), the report focuses on and on the acute threat that conflict and crisis pose to women’s livelihoods, health and well-being what the world needs to do about this immediately.
UN Women highlights how war’s global impact on oil, gas and food supplies, and its catalysis of skyrocketing prices, have increased food insecurity and fuel poverty. They stress that these unprecedented circumstances have exacerbated existing inequalities and drastically widened the already large gender gaps in hunger, education and poverty.
Almost 7.3 million people have fled Ukraine, 7.7 million are internally displaced, most of them women and children, according to the report.
As a result, the safety and prosperity of women and girls are desperately at stake, drawing attention to their daily reality of increasing gender-based violence, forced child marriages, transactional sex for sustenance and survival, malnutrition, and a crippling domestic strain associated with the escalating cost-of-living crisis.
This serves as a sobering window into the acute physical and psychological trauma suffered by the world’s women and girls as a result of the war in Ukraine and other unrelenting global crises, and how it is happening “deepens and exacerbates already existing structural inequalities.”
While focusing on the war in Ukraine, the report also highlights the compounding impact of climate change, resource depletion through environmental degradation and the Covid-19 pandemic have further “frozen” gender inequalities and violations of women’s and human rights.
UN Women calls for immediate action by the global community without which the livelihoods of women around the world are at risk, and in particular a set of Sustainable Development Goals SDG 5 “Gender equality” will risk spinning rapidly in the opposite direction.
The progress towards the fulfillment of SDG 5 is measured by 9 sub-goals, which are composed 18 indicators. Currently, UN Women report that 13% of these indicators are “very far” off target, with a further 15% classified as “far off target”, meaning more than a quarter of the indicators are “far or very far” far from that are the 2030 targets.
“Women and girls suffer differently”
Food prices are up 50% since 2020, while crude oil and shipping prices are up 33% and 23% since early 2022.
However, women and girls pay the highest price.
Women are most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition
While caring for children and living in combat zones, women do not have adequate access to essential medicines, health care and funds to buy baby food and formula. In addition, pregnant women and newborns have special nutritional needs that humanitarian aid cannot meet.
265,000 women were pregnant in Ukraine when war broke out, the report shows.
When food becomes scarce due to war and crises, Women and girls eat less and eat last, Save food for children, the elderly and sick people. Their unpaid domestic responsibilities for care, preparation and maintenance are also increasing at the expense of their physical and mental health and well-being.
Women increasingly experience violence and exploitation
The pressures of conflict and food insecurity often lead to increased domestic violence, and in order to survive and make ends meet, women and girls are often affected forced to trade sex for food and money.
This puts women at increased risk sexual exploitation and human traffickingand the associated risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
When desperate families are financially devastated, they often resort to pulling their daughters out of school and to force them into child or non-consensual marriages against dowry or “bride price income”.
The report shows that the past turbulent year The number of early or forced marriages has more than doubled in Ethiopiawith child dropouts rising by 2.2 million in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in the past three months alone.
Women are more affected by fuel poverty
As oil and gas prices soar as a result of the war in Ukraine, not only are societies tempted to turn to extractive and more polluting energy sources, but women are increasingly being tasked with procuring alternative fuels for cooking for their families, particularly in areas devastated by conflict .
Finding and collecting these sources requires an inordinate amount of time and energy that could otherwise be devoted to educational, economic, and recreational activities.
In addition, air pollution from these is inefficient and polluting biomass alternatives cause 3.2 million premature deaths annuallymost of whom are women and children, according to the World Health Organization.
Power outages also limit access Water, transport, internet, healthcare, banking and other public services all disproportionately affect women, especially single parents and female-headed households.
In Ukraine, over 90% of single parents are women and 70% of heads of household are women.
“Systemic, gender-specific crises require systemic, gender-specific solutions”
“The impact of war on food security, energy and finance is systemic, severe and accelerating,” is undeniable warning by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
It cannot be denied that the consequences of the war in Ukraine are being felt in all walks of life around the world. But as the report says “In times of great suffering, women and girls suffer differently” a fact that is “dangerously overlooked” and repeatedly ignored, increasing inequality, reducing resilience and deepening vulnerability.
Related articles: “In it Together”: More humanitarian aid for Ukraine | Spectacular Ukraine counter-offensive: How solid? | The Global Goals: Engaging Marginalized Conflict Survivors | SDG 5: Achieve gender equality
The UN report tries to make women’s voices heard.
“The war in Ukraine is having a profound impact well beyond its borders, and women and girls are on the front lines. Their problems may be invisible to many, but they are very real to them.” says Global Crisis Response Group Coordinator Rebeca Grynspan.
UN Women’s direct recommendation to world leaders is clear and absolute: The ongoing talks that will define the global response to the Ukrainian war crisis must pay off “urgently pay attention to the consequences for women and girls.”
As Guterres said in his UNGA opening address to the world, “The rights of women and girls are declining.”
We are hundreds of years away from legal equality between women and men.
I cannot accept a world that tells my granddaughters that gender equality must wait for their granddaughters’ granddaughters.
We must now insist on gender equality everywhere.https://t.co/ota5hdgYM8 pic.twitter.com/hBYEM55Mkn
— Antonio Guterres (@antonioguterres) September 8, 2022
In summarizing the mission of this report, UN Women Chief, Sima Bahous,
she voiced Issue the “Gender equality considerations are largely absent from discussions about the Ukraine crisis.”
She underscored the vital importance of “more gender statistics and data broken down by gender” to make the reaction better.
In the report she written down “‘Business as usual’ will not bring about a global recovery,” he stressed female leadership and participation are essential components of effective policy development and decision-making, especially in relation to Ukraine and other conflicts, crises and humanitarian situations.
Although the report unequivocally reflects the United Nations’ recent calls for solidarity and immediate holistic action in the face of global crises such as hunger, poverty, climate change and financial destabilization, the most recent The UN Women letter reframes the current global perspective from the perspective of the disproportionate female suffering these issues bring to the surface.
In this report, UN Women calls on all economic, climate, political and social measures and systems to be reminded to comply with them “Women and girls in their midst.”
“All conflicts, from Ukraine to Myanmar to Afghanistan, from the Sahel to Yemen, exact their highest price on women and girls. The stakes couldn’t be higher. As a global community, we must rise to this challenge,” said UN women chief Sima Bahous.
Let’s hope the world listens.
“I am very proud of what our women are doing. All women, every single one of us, including me, we need the win.”
— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) September 21, 2022
Editor’s note: The opinions of the authors expressed here are their own and not those of Impakter.com — In the post photo: Ukrainian children flee Russian aggression. Featured Photo Credit:Mirek Pruchnicki/Flickr