Ukrainian Women’s Fund (UWF)

Mission:

The UWF mission is to help women and women’s organizations in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus to play an active role in the processes of building gender democracy in these countries. We support active participation of women and women’s organizations in the development of a just society that guarantees women’s rights, strengthens their role in the community, and promotes women at all levels and in all fields. We work to facilitate women in this path in every way possible.

Vision:

The UWF envisions gender democratic society with equal rights and opportunities for women in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. Women and women’s organizations are strong and empowered to participate in political, economic and social life and decision-making. The UWF seeks to facilitate the consolidation of the women’s movement in Ukraine, as well as in Moldova and Belarus, and increase public attention to issues of gender and diversity.

UWF was established in 2000 in Kyiv, Ukraine and works regionally in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.

Up to date the Ukrainian Women’s Fund provided 550 grants to women’s organizations in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus on a total amount of more than  2.0 million US dollars (as of May 31, 2015).

Working areas

  • Promoting women’s participation in peace processes, political transition, and other critical decision-making processes and institutions
  • Protecting women and girls from violence and abuse
  • Engaging women in crisis and conflict prevention and investing in women’s and girls’ economic empowerment to promote strong, stable society
  • Ensuring safe, equitable access to relief and recovery assistance for internally displaced population
  • Promoting links between women’s groups in Eastern and Southern parts of Ukraine and the rest of the country

Programs

Grants program; Fundraising and donor education program; Information program; Technical assistance and capacity building programs for women’s organizations.

Working context in Ukraine

The culture of philanthropy in Ukraine is underdeveloped, and it is difficult to raise funds especially for women’s issues. Gender and women’s issues are getting worse from year to year. Ukrainian government does not pay attention to gender and women’s issues and does not fulfill its international obligations in this respect. Since 2014 Ukraine has been experienced a period of changes and transformations, as well as significant increase in civil society activism, including women’s movement supported by the UWF. There is a hope that now, when civil society has more influence, it will change the context in the way favorable for development of gender justice and abidance by democratic values.

On the other side military conflict in Eastern Ukraine and political and economic crisis increased stress for people, which correlates with an increase in domestic violence rates. New violence-connected topics appeared in the society, including those related to crisis and poor conditions of internally displaced persons. As of March 2015, there are at least 1,194,700 IDPs in Ukraine. One of the most pressing challenges is lack of sustainable policies and specialized institutions to provide comprehensive care (including shelters) to women survivors of domestic violence and IDPs. Moreover, financing for all social programmes have been suspended/substantially decreased for an uncertain period. One of the most important reasons is that women’s organizations so far are not strong enough to influence on decision-making and need better coordination between themselves and strengthening their communication capacity.

Interesting facts about UWF  

The Ukrainian Women’s Fund is the only fund in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus that supports women’s and gender initiatives. In spite of limited resources, underdeveloped culture of philanthropy and absence of priority within big foundations, the UWF continues working to support and develop women’s movement in these countries and uses every opportunity that can be helpful for women and women’s groups.

One of the big successes of Ukrainian Women’s Fund is its First Step to Success Program, aimed to promote leadership skills among girls and young women to help them learn about social activism, inspire them to become engaged participants in social sphere and thus bring up a young generation of women’s movement. The Program was launched in 2006 in Ukraine and has attracted over 350 Ukrainian girls to civil society activism; since 2013 it has also been implemented in Moldova to enhance development of young women’s movement already in two countries.

 The UWF’s ongoing First Step to Success fundraising campaign has continued for 10 years already. This program collects funds not only from foundations and international donors, but also from local companies and individuals (which is rather difficult in our country) that provide monetary or in-kind support (see the list of donors on the program’s site).

 

* Updated June 2015

Contact

Olesya Bondar, Director

Address

27 Chornovola str., office 221, Kyiv 01135, Ukraine

Phone

+380 44 507 06 10

Ukrainian Women’s Fund

Ukrainian Women’s Fund

Ukrainian Women’s Fund