WIDE+ has sent a public letter to European Politicians to provide our feminist recommendations around the invasion of Ukraine.
As a feminist network that promotes gender and social justice in Europe, we strongly condemn the military invasion of the Russian regime against Ukraine. War is the most extreme form of violent patriarchy and nationalism against which we as feminists struggle. We stand in solidarity with all people suffering due to the war.
Our feminist vision is rooted in a systemic analysis of power dynamics and their impact on human rights. From this perspective, we come to a set of joint demands we collectively share, respecting divergent views on other issues.
We are concerned that Russia’s war against Ukraine and the spiral of armament will lead to a mindset in which decision-makers see increased warfare as the only option forward. Measures that promote peace remain essential, as the EU needs to strategise for the long-term future. Peace must be achieved within a rights-based framework of human and ecological security, decent work and living conditions, access to democratic governance for everyone and equality from a gendered intersectional perspective.
We call on the EU to:
Amplify the humanitarian response by including women, girls, and LGBTQIA+ people, in the design and decision-making of all aid programmes, especially from ethnic minorities and indigenous groups such as Roma and Sinta, racialised women, women with disabilities, and elderly women. Such response should include access to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
Financially support local and national women-led organisations in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to implement gender-sensitive and gender-transformative measures that acknowledge the vast diversity among women.
Combat conflict-related sexual violence (CRSGBV), human trafficking of girls and women, and any other form of gender-based violence, including the risk thereof. And promote access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for displaced and to those left behind.
Encourage a ceasefire and the rule of law, and allocate more resources to the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, especially in increasing efforts to carry out the EU Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2019-2024 and in promoting the member states’ development, review and/or implementation of National Action Plans 1325.
Prioritise human security needs instead of the massive increase in military spending. We call on you to monitor the impact of arms delivery and trade and economic sanctions on the position of women and women-led associations in Ukraine and the neighbouring countries, conform to Arms Trade Treaty article 7.4. Delivering weapons must not result in cuts in the funding for women’s empowerment.
Ensure safe passage for everyone fleeing war regions, regardless of their nationality, gender, colour of skin or ethnic/religious background, and the country they escape from. We welcome the support and open reception of refugees from Ukraine but note with concern that in general refugee policies in Europe do not offer the same kind of rights and access.