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The Situation Of Women In Ukraine

Written by: Mayra Cardozo, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


The conflict between Russia and Ukraine reveals several issues that have a global impact and that go far beyond a mere dispute over land. We need to turn our eyes to the situation of women in the face of this conflict.

Recently, Irina Sergueeva became the first Ukrainian volunteer combatant to sign a full-time military contract. She assures that women who want to unite in defense of Ukraine against Russia do not have a "romantic" idea of war. I believe that women's participation in war is disruptive and essential in critiquing the sexual division of labor and gender stereotypes.

We still have the misconception that there are male and female activities that women should participate in more in service and care areas. In contrast, men should participate in tasks that require greater physical demand and decision-making power.

And this division is not based on differences based on sex; a term used to refer to the physiological and biological differences between men and women; as many try to maintain, these differences are based on discrimination based on gender.

Gender is a constitutive element of social relations whose objective is to give meaning to the power relations mainly because both sex and gender derive from a process of social construction and are not the result of physical or biological characteristics.

Given this perspective, women's participation in war breaks this logic of the sexual division of labor which, in turn, also questions the constitution of a binary system based on the categorical that gender reflects or restricts sex.

As a consequence of this rupture, we can reinforce the logic that a human being with a penis, vagina, or asexual can have abilities, wills, and aptitudes to perform any activity they desire. The impact of women's participation in wars In this scenario, we can see the rupture of socially imposed beliefs. Although many women have fought in wars since World War II, we are still shocked by women taking

up arms; it shows us how much our patriarchal beliefs are still present.

In addition, women have a different view of conflict than men. Perhaps because men also carry patriarchal beliefs that they should be the heroes of history, demonstrate bravery and leadership, which makes them see war as a historical act that enhances the human being and cares little about the deaths caused.

However, this romanticized view loses the thermometer of reality, leading to emotional and irresponsible decisions.

On the other hand, women see conflict the way it is, as a phenomenon that brings pain, suffering, and fear. They just must fight for their territory without carrying the burden, from toxic masculinity, of demonstrating virility.

We also need to consider that women's and men's rights are different during the conflict. In the case of the war we are experiencing, Ukrainian men are obliged to stay in the territory and fight, while women have the right to flee.

It shows us the patriarchal and discriminatory logic that perceives women as more fragile beings. The ideal would be that we didn't have this gender discrimination in recruitment, that everyone had the right to flee or stay and fight because everyone is considered as beings that add to the fight.

Furthermore, behind the "war logic" of sparing women, there is a strategic logic of "saving the nation" because you create conditions for the population to continue reproducing when you save women and children.

However, this logic proves to be patriarchal because, once again, the State and society objectify women as bodies whose primary function is to manage human beings.

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Mayra Cardozo, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Mayra is one of the pioneers in Brazil in feminist coaching and is something she is passionate about. Despite being a lawyer and partner in a famous office in Brazil and a university professor of Human Rights, these were not enough for her. She always wants to make a difference in people's lives. It was then that she discovered her passion and became a life coach; she has a brilliant curriculum involving the best national and international courses. The objective of your work is to empower human beings to be their best version and help them emancipate themselves from socially constructed beliefs to be their essence. Her approach is different. It aims to unite the coaching process with the development of an inclusive and emancipatory awareness.



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