Ukrainian businesswomen met with Olena Kondratiuk, Vice-Speaker of the Supreme Council of Ukraine, at a meeting organized by UN Women


On April 29 2024, a meeting with businesswomen from the Ukrainian community and Olena Kondratiuk, Vice-Speaker of the Supreme Council of Ukraine, took place. The meeting was hosted and organized by UN Women in collaboration with the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and was part of the visit to Moldova by the delegation led by Olena Kondratiuk. The meeting was attended by Doina Gherman, Vice-President of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, H.E. Marko Shevchenko, Ambassador of Ukraine to Moldova, Svetlana Andries, Deputy Country Representative of UN Women Moldova, members of the delegation from Ukraine, and over 15 refugee women from Ukraine settled in Moldova.


The purpose of the event was to provide a space for dialogue for women from Ukraine to discuss the challenges they face, including the need to adapt to a new reality to ensure their financial stability, as well as the solutions they have found within various programs to ensure their socio-economic integration supported by UN Women.

Opening the dialogue, Svetlana Andries, Deputy Country Representative of UN Women Moldova, spoke about the importance of strengthening efforts to support authorities for better integration and social cohesion as well as economic integration of girls and women from Ukraine into the Republic of Moldova. "We have studied the profile of refugee women and have determined that at least 64% have higher education, and we have realized that this is a potential for the Republic of Moldova. In this context, we have created economic empowerment programs so that the integration of these women into society can be possible. Within these programs, women have acquired technical and digital skills to access jobs both in Moldova and abroad, working remotely, have benefited from psychological assistance, received information for the prevention and combating of violence, and have benefited from the strengthening of social infrastructure so that their children can benefit from places in kindergartens. Over 190 women have started businesses and have received vouchers to launch their activities. Some of these women are here today and are ready to share their experiences briefly."


Olena Kondratiuk delivered an encouraging and solidarity message for women from Ukraine, while also expressing profound gratitude to all countries that have provided and continue to provide assistance to women and children from Ukraine. "What I see today is that women from Ukraine are firm, strong, understand their responsibilities, and work hard. Many of you run businesses. What you do and learn to do here, in Moldova, the knowledge and skills you acquire, will be necessary for our country when you return. We want you to return, but we understand that we need to provide you with the necessary conditions so that when you return, you and your children are safe. Thank you for moving forward, and I wish all of us victory, peace, and tranquility," mentioned the Vice-Speaker of the Supreme Council of Ukraine.


Doina Gherman, Vice-President of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, expressed her confidence in the power of female solidarity: "Your success stories are many, they are true, and they are truly inspirational. I am proud to know you, and know that you motivate many other women in the Republic of Moldova. Truly, our country has become a small country with a big heart because unprecedentedly we have mobilized, opened our doors, our homes, our hearts, and have welcomed all citizens from Ukraine as our own. We will continue to stand by you. I personally strongly believe in the power of women. We can inspire each other if we are supportive, if we are united, and the presence of the Vice-President of the Supreme Council of Ukraine demonstrates just that: solidarity, unity, and demonstrates that we, women, are a force."

Marina Sergheiciuk, originally from Nikolaev, mentioned in the dialogue that initially, when she came to Moldova, she didn't know what to do, but she started by using her profession from Ukraine: "I am a teacher and I decided to do what I know best. Initially, I was preparing children for school, helping them with their homework. I organized various extracurricular activities, especially for children from underrepresented groups. Now I have opened a mini-kindergarten, with a half-day program, attended by children from both Ukraine and Moldova. We aim to contribute to the integration of children from Ukraine into Moldovan society, guided by the principle of friendship without limits."


Iulia Zencenco spoke about the NGO she opened, together with two other women from Ukraine. "We founded the Association 'Network of Refugee Women from Ukraine - Female Support Force' with the mission of enhancing the integration of women from Ukraine into Moldovan communities. We aim to strengthen cooperation between women from Ukraine and Moldova in various fields - economy, entrepreneurship, health, and education through women's empowerment, intercultural dialogue, and exchange of experiences."

Facilitating integration through art was also discussed at the event. Evghenia Loitra came to Moldova with her mother, who is a painter. When they left Ukraine, Victoria took some of the paintings she was preparing for the exhibition "World without Borders," the conceptualization of which began 5 years before the war. "We participate in various competitions and exhibitions to be able to continue our activity. We hope that it will be possible to hold an exhibition with the participation of artists from Ukraine, to enhance social cohesion through culture," said Evghenia.