UN Women Executive Board makes landmark field visit to Moldova and Ukraine

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has disproportionately affected women and girls, exacerbating pre-existing inequalities and exposing them to heightened risks of gender-based violence, economic instability, and displacement. Russia’s full-scale invasion has not only disrupted their lives but placed an immense burden on women and girls.

Panama Ambassador and President of the UN Women Executive Board Markova Concepción Jaramillo, accompanied by the ambassadors of Sweden and Côte d'Ivoire, and representatives from Poland, conducted a landmark visit to Moldova, Ukraine, and Poland from 14 to 24 May 2024, to strengthen partnerships and advance gender equality amidst the challenging context of the region. The Executive Board is the governing body responsible for providing intergovernmental support and overseeing the operational activities of UN Women.

In Moldova, the Executive Board engaged with government officials, civil society representatives, local authorities, private sector partners, and beneficiaries, to observe UN Women’s on-the-ground initiatives and their impact firsthand. Meetings emphasized the strategic partnership with UN Women in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in Moldova. Discussions also covered women’s economic empowerment, with interactions with more than 30 women entrepreneurs from Moldova’s Ungheni district.

In Ukraine, the mission assessed the repercussions of the armed conflict on women and girls, their needs, and UN Women's support in promoting gender-governance. Discussions with Government Commissioner for Gender Policy Kateryna Levchenko and the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine addressed mechanisms for ensuring gender equality, gender mainstreaming in Ukraine's recovery and European integration efforts, initiatives combatting sexual violence related to the conflict with Russia, and implementation of the National Action Plan 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security.

The Executive Board heard firsthand accounts from beneficiaries of UN Women-led programmes promoting women's empowerment and entrepreneurship, as well as residents of Borodyanka and Bucha, areas formerly occupied by Russian forces.