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Call to action from CEI region: Integrating Ukrainian women into the workforce and society

The professional women from the CEI countries who participated in the Equal Pay Day conference, held this year in Prague on 11 & 12 April, elaborated a document called “Call to action: Integrating Ukrainian women into the workforce and society ”. This powerful document, spearheaded by the Business and Professional Women CR (BPWCR) in collaboration with project partners in the project Equal Pay Day going to International! III., sheds light on the urgent issue facing Ukrainian women refugees – their socio-economic inclusion in the labor markets of their host countries.

The document serves as a critical appeal, raising awareness of the war’s devastating consequences on these women. It delves into the challenges they face, including the lack of social environment, the sudden uprooting from their familiar social circles leaves them feeling isolated and disconnected. Many women struggle to find work due to language barriers, high lack of recognition of their qualifications, and childcare, family needs. The absence of social networks in the host country makes it difficult for women with young children or elderly dependents to find employment. This care burden also hinders youth’s education and skills development, as they may be expected to help at home. Displacement often forces youth to abandon their education in favor of immediate income to contribute to the household’s survival.

The fight for fair compensation based on the work performed becomes even more crucial in a new environment. The call appeals for language lessons, upskilling and reskilling opportunities as essential for these women to integrate into the workforce. Unfortunately, the lack of voice in the economic and social spheres further marginalizes them, driving them into the “shadow economy” and increasing the risks for this vulnerable community.

This collaborative effort by the project team exemplifies the power of a shared commitment to a worthy cause with great implications for the future. By raising awareness and advocating for solutions, the project partners are paving the way for a more inclusive future for Ukrainian refugees.