UN Women welcomes launch of the Network of Refugee Women from Ukraine – Female Support Force
Ukrainian refugee women living in the Republic of Moldova recently launched the Network of Refugee Women from Ukraine – Female Support Force, an association that will help refugee women, as well as women in local communities.
The association’s Co-President, Iulia Zencenco, said the group will provide support and tools for women, and that it also aims to organize trainings, efforts to integrate refugee women into communities, health programmes, psychological counseling, cultural exchanges, legal support and encouragement. “As refugees, we better understand the problems we face,” she said. “So, through this association, we will empower women, help them develop new skills and work for integration in the host communities. The war will end someday, and women must be ready to rebuild our country and return to a peaceful life.”
Svetlana Andries, the Deputy Country Representative of UN Women Moldova, spoke about the role of women leaders and the importance of fostering strong voices among women. "Studies show that peace agreements signed by women last about 15 years longer. We want as many women as possible to be part of peace processes and negotiations,” she said. “I'm glad to see women creating networks to amplify their voices. Women can do anything! Anything can be done by women!"
From the perspective of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, any person in Moldova’s territory without legal status or local identification documents is immediately considered at risk of social exclusion. “What we desire, and our immediate goal, is to provide a local identity document to every displaced person from Ukraine, as long as they have chosen to share bread and salt with the local community,” said Jana Costachi, State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. “Our task is to offer you a comprehensive, accessible and understandable range of information so that you can say staying in the territory of the Republic of Moldova is your decision.”
Margret Maria Uebber, Germany’s Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, said the association will be an important pilot programme for efforts to integrate and support Ukrainian refugee women in Moldova. “The new association will help empower women refugees, and the initiative itself is a symbol of women’s empowerment,” she said. “The unique interaction between the initiator, refugee women, local institutions and the international community represented by UN Women [will] need to be strongly directed and sustained as a best practice.”
Sophie Giscard D'Estaing, Programme Coordinator of the Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund, said that women’s organizations are on the front lines, responding to the needs of communities. “They are agile and innovative in their response, and this network is an illustration of that work,” she said. “We are extremely proud of the work women’s organizations are doing on the ground, and WPHF continues to stand by you.”
The Network of Refugee Women from Ukraine – Female Support Force was established with the active involvement of the Association of Entrepreneurs with Disabilities from the Republic of Moldova, which, with the support of UN Women and funding from the Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund, has trained hundreds of refugee and host women. Irina Revin, President of the association, mentioned that the newly created network will be a springboard for new achievements, as it has enormous potential to foster collaboration, support and empowerment among women.
The association is being implemented by the Association of Entrepreneurs with Disabilities from the Republic of Moldova, with the support of UN Women and funding from the Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund.