Women of Ukraine demand Peace. Peace with Justice. Peace with Freedom.
Nobel peace laureates’ delegation to Poland and Ukraine, June 20-24
- Nobel peace laureates call for the end to invasion and accountability.
- Nobel peace laureates call for full protection of women’s rights.
- Nobel peace laureates call for inclusion of the women of Ukraine at all levels.
(Krakow) Three Nobel peace laureates—Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and Jody Williams of the United States—conclude their visit to Ukraine and Poland on this dark day marking four months of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The laureates call for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Accountability for Russian war crimes, including against women. And for meaningful participation of women and women’s organizations in the humanitarian response, reconstruction and building peace.
The delegation met with hundreds of displaced women and dozens of women’s organizations, human rights organizations, humanitarian agencies and activists in Lviv, Ukraine and Krakow and Rzeszow, Poland.
The laureates also brought their message of solidarity and recommendations to local, national and international officials including the UN Ukraine, the office of the Governor of the Lviv Regional Administration, the Mayor of Lviv and of Krakow.
The laureates visited Lviv Train Station on June 22 and spoke with women conductors and railway staff about their experiences transporting Ukrainians fleeing the conflict. The Station is a destination for millions fleeing the war, and now many returning.
“Thank you for telling us your stories. But they aren’t just stories, these are your lives. The work you do. You are witnesses to humanity. You are the super-women conductors of Lviv,” said Leymah Gbowee speaking with three representatives of Ukrainian Railways.
From the super-women conductors who rescued thousands, we also witnessed the superpowers of every woman we met. The laureates listened to the testimonies, analyses, and demands of women from across Ukraine. They underlined the risks facing women including increased violence against women, exploitation and trafficking. More needs to be done to address the protection gaps for women and girls in Ukraine, in transit and host countries. Women are doing the work locally but still their voices are often excluded. Women’s active participation must be at the center of managing the humanitarian response, reconstruction and building peace. Women demanded resources, for women’s movements, for humanitarian aid, and for peace work.
“The loss and separation mean all actors must act quickly. We call for credible negotiations that include women and center humanity,” urged Leymah Gbowee.
“The longer the war goes on, the worse the suffering will be for Ukrainians and their country,” said Jody Williams. “True and lasting peace happens when women’s voices are heard, human rights are upheld, international law respected, and when violence and militarization are rejected. The ramping up of military might does not end wars.”
“We call for an end to this war, for the Russian withdrawal from Ukrainian territory, for the return of refugees, for reconstruction of what has been destroyed by the war, and repairing the heavy damage to buildings and public and private institutions. To the people of Ukraine, to the women of Ukraine: we say that your pain is ours, and your struggle is ours. We will echo your voices to the world,” stated Tawakkol Karman.
The laureates visited five shelters. The women described stories of horrific violence and the pain of leaving their country.
“On February 23, we were all enjoying our lives…At 4:00 in the morning we were asleep, then the mobiles started to ring, babies were waking up crying. The bombs were coming. We said the war has started,” said Askierova Yeva, a Ukrainian woman at the City Social Welfare Center in Krakow.
“I have no words for what they have done to Ukraine… I am screaming to make people pay attention.” –a participant, psychosocial support group supported by The Azadi Project in Krakow, June 20.
The delegation was organized in partnership with funding and organizing partner BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, and organizing partners United for Ukraine, Ukrainian Women’s Fund, The Azadi Project, and many others.
For more information, contact:
Nobel Women’s Initiative Media Outreach
+ 1 613 614 9740
The Azadi Project Media Consultant
+48 605 682 236
United for Ukraine
+49 172 942 8061
BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt
+49 151 6030 2142