Stories

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Svetlana Babaș, 19, is a Ukrainian Roma woman who had to flee her home as a result of Russia’s military invasion in Ukraine. She shares her story as a young mother who was worried about her fast approaching due date while escaping war and her journey to safety in a temporary placement center for refugees in central Moldova.
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Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Moldova and Poland have received the highest number of refugees. As of 12 April, about 96 thousand Ukrainian refugees are residing across the different regions of Moldova. UN Women has been working with partners to gather, analyse and disseminate data to illustrate the differential and disproportionate impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on women and girls. Together with the Border Police of Moldova, UN Women produced a factsheet in mid-March with data on the demographic profiles of Ukrainian refugees hosted in the country. Together with the International Organization for Migration, a displacement survey was conducted and quantitative data was collected. To gather qualitative data for the assessment, UN Women has been talking to women refugees living in temporary placement centers. This is their story.
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Despite the myriad challenges of collecting data in conflict, UN Women has been working tirelessly with partners to gather, analyse and disseminate data to illustrate the differential and disproportionate impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on women and girls. At least five publications have been produced so far, revealing the grim reality of war and its evolution, particularly for the most vulnerable women and girls.
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Remarks by United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, at the UN Security Council briefing on the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine.
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On 24 February, people across Ukraine awoke to the sounds of sirens and explosions as Russia began a military offensive. As war and conflict impact women differently than men, it is essential to recognize and the specific needs of women and girls in humanitarian response.
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More than 400,000 people from Ukraine have crossed into the Republic of Moldova since Russia’s invasion on 24 February. According to Moldova’s Bureau for Migration and Asylum, over 1,600 Ukrainians had requested asylum as of 10 March.
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On 24 February, Natalia, Irina and Cristina, three friends and mothers from Odessa, woke up to the sound of air raid sirens and explosions. Russia’s military offensive had begun.
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In the Republic of Moldova, sexual harassment and violence is a taboo topic. Victims of sexual harassment fear being blamed or stigmatized, and rarely report the incidents. Milena Rusu continued a relationship with her abuser for six months before breaking up. At the time, she didn’t recognize the incident as a sexual assault since she was in a romantic relationship with her abuser. Instead, she tried to forget the incident.
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In the Republic of Moldova, few girls and women decide to study hard sciences or information technology (IT). The barriers they face at cultural, social or educational levels prevent them from advancing in their careers and becoming experts in fields where they are usually underrepresented.
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Two young women entrepreneurs from the Republic of Moldova, Nadejda Hadjivu and Victoria Sobol, managed to start their businesses, promoting local, healthy products, during the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from the Organization for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises Sector (ODIMM) in Moldova, UN Women and the Government of Japan, they have been able to sustain and expand their businesses.
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Meet three women mayors from rural Moldova who have defied deeply entrenched gender stereotypes about women’s leadership and led their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. From building public infrastructure to enabling citizen participation virtually, they have made their communities safer and more resilient.
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A survey to assess the gendered impacts of COVID-19 on women’s and men’s lives and livelihoods in ten countries/territories across Europe and Central Asia has revealed dire findings.
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Gender-based violence crisis centres from six countries in the Pacific have faced not only the COVID-19 crisis, but also in some countries, the dual impact of a tropical cyclone. UN Women’s Ending Violence Against Women and Girls programme, through the Pacific Partnership, works in close collaboration with government, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls, and increase access to quality response services for survivors, especially during emergencies.
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The Government of Sweden and UN Women Moldova provided 28,000 units of protective equipment to social assistance staff from 36 territorial departments throughout the country. The coveralls and masks were purchased from three local companies run by women. Thus, the procurements provided financial support both to factories and to employees who kept their jobs and salaries during this time of crisis provoked by COVID-19. At the same time, textile enterprises took steps to help front-line workers.
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Thirty-five-year-old Elena Crasmari was fed up with not being able to access the medical centre in her home village of Dolna – a rural community of 1,155 people, fifty-three kilometres from the Republic of Moldova’s capital city of Chisinau. Due to her disability, she couldn’t take the stairs, and had to get on her hands and knees to enter the building. “I went to the town hall to ask them to help me do something about the stairs of the medical facility,” Elena...
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A local teacher in a remote village in Moldova helped improve the lives of her students and now has her sights set on local leadership, after participating in the UN Women supported "INSPIR-O!" (Inspire it) Mentorship Programme.
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Around the world, one in every three women will be beaten, coerced into sex or abused in some other way—most often by someone she knows. Yet public services, such as quality mental health services, are rarely planned with women’s safety, recovery and healing from violence in mind.
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More than 1,000 women are learning new skills through an online platform supported by the Moldovan Association of ICT Companies and UN Women, with the financial support of the Government of Sweden. The programme trains young women for ICT careers as front-end developers and technology creators.
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For Ina Grădinaru, a psychologist with a women’s centre in Moldova, her work with survivors of violence is much more than a job, it’s a social responsibility and her life mission. For the #HearMeToo campaign, she talks about her work, the persisting challenges and myths that must be broken to end the violence.
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In Moldova, widespread patriarchal attitudes and gender-based stereotypes perpetuate the idea that women are responsible for child and home care, with fathers expected to be breadwinners. To challenge this widespread notion, the Embassy of Sweden organised in partnership with the UN in Moldova the photo exhibition Dads from Moldova and Sweden.