Oh, Sister!: A new documentary about Ukrainian Women's daily struggle for peace

Women making their contribution as one of the key pillars in the victory against the Russian invaders. Launching in New York City on September 16th, 2022.

The documentary builds upon the visit of the three Nobel Peace Laureates to Krakow, Poland and Lviv, Ukraine in June 2022. As part of Nobel Women Initiative’s Delegation American anti-war activist Jody Williams, Yemeni human rights activist Tawakkol Karman, and Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee met with hundreds of displaced women and dozens of women’s organizations, human rights organizations, humanitarian agencies and activists.

The goal of NWI is to increase the strength and visibility of women's groups working for peace, justice and equality. Following the visit to Poland and Ukraine, the laureates called 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, the reconstruction and peacebuilding processes.

Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban antipersonnel landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). She is an outspoken peace activist who struggles to reclaim the real meaning of peace—a concept which goes far beyond the absence of armed conflict and is defined by human security, not national security. The Iron Woman of Yemen, Tawakkol Karman, defended the rights of the people of her country for many years, became an opponent of President Ali Abdullah Saleh fighting against outdated, unjust traditions suffocating women in Yemen. In 2011 she became the first Arab woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Tawakkol shared her award with Liberian Leymah Gbowee. In 2002, Leymah organized a grassroots women's movement for peace and took women's protest in her country to a whole new level. She gave voice to her compatriots. The Laureates and the heroines of Oh, Sister share the dedication, selflessness and courage of all women fighting for freedom, peace, justice and humanity in the context of war.

Ukrainian women across the country and outside are contributing to the survival of Ukrainians, each in their own way, every day.

The documentary tells the stories of:

Oleksandra Matviychuk is a Kyiv-based human rights lawyer and civil society leader. Oleksandra leads the non-profit organization The Center for Civil Liberties and is an active campaigner for democratic reforms in Ukraine. In June 2021, Oleksandra was nominated to the United Nations Committee against Torture and made history as Ukraine’s first female candidate to the UN treaty body. Now she continues her fight for justice.

Alla Melnychuk is the head of “Mother and Newborn”- a charitable organization which has been helping to save lives of infants with severe health issues for more than 20 years. Since 24 February 2022, Alla has leveraged her network and expertise to rescue more than 400 badly wounded children by evacuating them to European hospitals, despite constant shelling and other challenges.

Tata Kepler is a tactical medical volunteer supplying medical support to Ukrainian civilians and army on the frontlines, and in the de-occupied territories of Ukraine.

Natalia Kuolrych and Nadia Zhinikovska are working as conductors for Ukrainian Railways. Both women kept working and evacuating people from the very beginning of the large-scale invasion even though every journey could have been a one-way trip. The laureates called these women “Ukrainian superheroes” after meeting them at the Railway Station in Lviv.

"Oh, Sister" is a collective portrait of women who, through their activities, face the challenges of this inhumane war.

The film is supported by Nobel Women Initiative, BMW Foundation, and United for Ukraine.

Executive producer — Brian Kelly

Inspired by Marc Wilkins and Iryna Tsilyk

Directed by Hanna Kopylova

Director of photography — Jane Bondarenko

Produced by — 2332 films

Executive producer — Sasha Cherniavsky

Producer — Christina Prylip